Last week I wrote about a life-changing conclusion that the Israelites came to in Deuteronomy 1:27 – “Because the Lord hated us, he has brought us out of the land of Egypt, to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.” (ESV)
I’m deeply persuaded that we, just like those in Deuteronomy 1, are always asking and answering five deeply theological questions. I want to expound upon these a bit more this week.
1. Is God Good?
When it comes to what is good, we struggle to align with God’s values. Because we want to be at the center, we define good as what is comfortable, predictable, and pleasurable. When difficulty comes our way, our default theological response will be to wonder why God is doing what he is doing and to question his goodness.
This is a dangerous trap. If you allow yourself to question God’s goodness, you will quit following his commands, and you will stop running to him for help because you will no longer rely on, follow, or seek the help of someone you cannot trust.
2. Will God Do What He Promised?
God’s promises are meant to move and motivate us. They should simultaneously blow our minds and settle our hearts. Yet many of us are in some state of spiritual paralysis because we no longer believe the promises of God.
As a result, we don’t have much reason to continue doing what God calls every one of his children to do. When doubt replaces trust, we will soon give up on all the disciplines of the Christian life.
3. Is God In Control?
At street-level, your world doesn’t appear to be under careful and wise control. At times, it seems totally out of control! It’s natural, therefore, to try and grab as much control over life as we can.
This reaction never results in a spiritually healthy place. It causes us to make decisions out of fear instead of faith. We try to rewind history or beat ourselves up with way too many “what if” scenarios. Nights where we turn off our minds and lie down and sleep in peace (Psalm 4:8) are few and far between.
4. Does God Have The Needed Power?
Scripture tells us that God comes to us with the same power by which he raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20).
I stood next to my mom’s bed after she had died and wished for one more conversation, wished I could hear her say “I love you” one more time, wished that she could squeeze my hand and say it would be okay. I wished with all that was in me for more, but she was gone, and I was powerless to do anything about it.
God’s power is so great that he rules life and death. So I can step into what is bigger than me because I know the One who is with me is bigger than what I am facing.
5. Does God Care About Me?
This is a question everyone asks:
- The bullied teenager
- The discouraged spouse
- The exhausted parent
- The lonely single
- The hard-working employee who suddenly lost their job
- The older person experiencing a fragile body
- The critically ill young person whose life has been forever changed
- The loyal congregant whose once vibrant church or pastor has lost their way
The Bible confronts you with the lavish nature of God’s mercy, love, patience, forbearance, grace, tenderness, and faithfulness. He never plays with you. He is never disloyal. He cares!
Tomorrow, or even later today, there is a good possibility that you will ask some or all of these questions. When you do, cry out for your Savior’s help.
He alone can open your eyes to his promises. His grace alone can bring peace to your soul.
1. Read the first full chapter of Deuteronomy again. What new insight did you gain the second time reading it, and how does it apply your situation, location, or relationships?
2. Pick a different question than the one you chose last week. When did you most recently ask this question, and what prompted you to ask it?
3. 3. How did you answer that question? Where did your answer find its inspiration or evidence?
4. How have you, unlike you Lord, failed to demonstrate goodness, strength, and faithfulness recently? How should you respond to your weakness, inability, and failure?
5. How has God proven his goodness, power, and faithfulness to you in the past? Why should this motivate and encourage you today? Be specific and apply it to what you’re facing right here, right now.