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::Devotional:: ‘Seeing Doubt or Seeking Understanding’

May 13, 2010

Never question God.  Well, at least that was how I understood things growing up.  God is all-knowing and all-powerful with a perfect plan which he works out according to his perfect will and that should never be questioned.  I’m not sure where or how that though developed but I’m so thankful that I know now that it was way off base.  There is a difference in questioning God in doubt and questioning him for understanding.

Luke’s gospel describes the births of John the Baptist to Elizabeth and Zechariah and Jesus to Mary and Joseph.  Both births were miracles as Elizabeth was well on in years with a barren womb and Mary was a virgin.  Both births were pieces of God working out his perfect plan according to his perfect will.  But both births were not the same when it came to the reaction of the parents.  One parent had doubt and another was seeking understanding.

Consider the response of Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, when the angel Gabriel informed him of the pregnancy.

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this?  I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”  Luke 1:18

The angel Gabriel reprimanded Zechariah for his question and prevented him from being able to speak for the term of the pregnancy.  One might think that this is a good argument for why we should never question God.  However, just a few verses later Mary, the mother of Jesus, is given similar news and has a similar response.

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”  Luke 1:34

Mary wasn’t reprimanded for her question.  Why not?

If you look closely at the questions, although they seem the same, they are not.  Zechariah’s question stemmed from doubt.  “How can I be sure of this?”  Mary’s questions stemmed from a desire to understand.  “How will this be since I am a virgin.”  There’s a difference between questioning God of his trustworthiness and questioning God on his methods.  Zechariah was only seeing doubt but Mary was seeking an understanding.

In my life I’m finding that questioning God is helping me to grow and mature in my understanding of him and his word.  Questioning there being in the form of seeking understanding and not in having doubt.  God is infinite in his wisdom and miraculous in his methods.  We can learn a lot by searching his word and seeking his counsel.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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