August 26, 2015

The Question

My interviewee, a man who is active on the political landscape, acknowledged that in public meetings he often asks questions for which he already knows the answer. He said, “I want the audience to be as informed as I am.” My first reaction was had a hint of indignation, but it caused me to ponder the motivation behind the questions.  There are any number of reasons: to gain knowledge, show superiority, to show humility, clear up miscommunication, to inform others — and even to demonstrate your own, or another’s, strength or weakness. Jesus was a master at asking and responding to questions, however my favorite question comes from God. As applicable today as it was at creation, the Lord God still calls to man, “Where are you” (Gen 3:9 NIV)?

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----I notice a number of questions inquiring from the Bible about who and what I am. “Where are you?” is certainly the oldest question to man. But, “What are you going to do about this?” seems to be the most recurring one. “The LORD is in His holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test, the children of men.” (Ps 11:4)
-----Everything calling for a reaction is a test. Reactions fit three basic categories: 1) favoring self, 2) favoring others, 3) favoring both. The third category indicates two kinds of approaches determine reactions: 1) determined approaches, or 2) discovery approaches. Determined approaches are like wooden legs. They’re stiff. They don’t bend with reality or acknowledge its details. They operate by a learned list of known movements that generally involve manipulating the elements of a situation into accommodating their own inflexibility, whether the determination is to get everything possible for the self or to give away everything possible to others (of course, God is an “other“ to the self, though some don‘t seem to realize it.)
-----But a reaction favoring both the self and others must be fit to the situation. It is the vibrant and flexible leg which conforms to what the situation requires of it, rather than conforming the situation to a determined list of rules. Before God we are all equally others. His nature is to enjoy the goodness delighting others. But delight can not be enjoyable unless it delights all that it affects. This present age is evil and false because in it everything must be fed something else. That is, everything costs, a.k.a., for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I feed my neighbor always only and I starve to death in his corpulent presence. Not equally delightful. I feed myself everything and my neighbor starves to death in the presence of my corpulence. A worse result. The discovery approach sets my neighbor and myself at the table; he gets more beans which I don’t like so much; I get more rolls, which he doesn’t like so much. Relationship arises from intimacy with the situation. Good arises from confining relationship to the truth. “Who’s to say what’s true?” The one who knows man discovers truth rather than determining it, for every table is set differently.
-----”What are you going to do in this situation?” seems to be the ever present question of the Lord testing integrity. “Whatever does good to all men,”’ is an appropriate first inclination. (Gal 6:10) “A wise man’s heart inclines him toward the right, but a fool’s heart toward the left.” (Eccl 10:2) “My son, if you receive My words and treasure up My commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of His saints.” (Pro 1:1-9)

Love you all,
Steve Corey