Bob Beck/ Robert's Ramblings
On Sundays we have been reading from the Book of Exodus, and I have been impressed by how often Moses questions, or perhaps challenges, God. When we read the Book of Job we see this again. Job is faithful to God but his friends tell him that he must question and challenge God for letting all the misfortunes fall upon him. Even in the Book of Psalms there are parts where Psalms of questioning and lament alternate with Psalms of Praise. A few weeks ago, Alma and I watched “The Fiddler on the Roof” again. It is an excellent movie about the Jews in Russia in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the abuses they endured. A phrase that is often repeated in this movie is “On the other hand...” I understand that this is a common Jewish philosophy, if you will - “this is one side of the situation, on the other hand, let us consider the other side.” It may also have been the way for students of Jewish Law and History. It was a way to study, a way to question God and what the student believed about God.
So what does that mean to us? Why should we question God?
When we had younger families in the church, I enjoyed teaching the Middle School age children. It was the time in their development when they were beginning to think and to reason things out. It was a time when they began to question and challenge. Not only did they force me to grow, it was a time for me to challenge them to grow. Yes, questioning allows us, or perhaps forces us, to grow. Perhaps it is difficult to actually question God, but if we will challenge ourselves to question what we believe, and why we believe, we will grow and deepen our faith.
For example, please read the first twelve verses of the Book of Mathew, chapter 5. Read them; think about them, do you believe in them? Do some of them make more sense than others? Why do you struggle with them? Are they promises, or only words for thought? What does it mean to be “poor in spirit?” Why should they inherit Heaven?
I don’t know all of the answers; I doubt that anyone “living” does. But I do hope that I will go on searching, questioning, not only myself, but also questioning God. By doing this, I hope to grow, both in understanding and in faith. Will you join me?