Feb 28, 2010

Divine Interrogatives

"And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?" (Genesis 3: 9)

"And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" (3: 11)

"And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." (3: 13)

"And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?" (Genesis 4:6)

"And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" (4: 9)

There are those who argue that the Lord, in the Bible, asks questions because he does not know the answer. However, this is false. In the above divine interrogatives, God is acting as a prosecutor, and desires that the defendents answer his questions. Man is on trial and God demands answers.

Sometimes the Lord asks questions because he desires that the one being questioned see the answer for himself, or to make confession. Teachers are familiar with this method of teaching and call it the Socratic method. The Bible is full of questions that God asks of us. Again, not because he does not know the answer, but because he desires that we see it for ourselves, and make confession of it.

"When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do." (John 6: 5, 6)

Jesus asks Philip a question, but the text is clear - Jesus alreadly knew the answer, already knew what Philip would answer. But, he asks in order that he might prove or test Philip. So too does the Lord ask of us.

Study the divine interrogatives! Learn from God's questioning of us!

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