“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” – Deuteronomy 29:29
As you make your way through life, how often do you have questions you’d like to ask of God?
And how many of those questions start with, “Why?”
We struggle with the concept of God having “secret things.” He shouldn’t keep secrets from us, right?—not from those of us who’ve been born again into His family through faith in Jesus. We’re important to him, aren’t we? We contribute to his kingdom, don’t we? As people who play at least a small part in what he’s doing today on the earth, we can be inclined to think he owes us some answers when we ask. And why not? Why wouldn’t he?
Asking why and not being given an answer settles with finality our minuscule role in his infinite plan, and we have a hard time living within the implications of that reality. It doesn’t square with what we know of his love for us and what we expect of our relationship. When God doesn’t answer our “whys,” it makes us feel small, and we don’t like feeling small.
But isn’t it just like sinful, selfish people to focus on what God has chosen not to tell us instead of being satisfied with everything he’s told us already—”the things that are revealed,”the things that do “belong to us”—because, taken together, the Bible says they add up to “all things that pertain to life and godliness”(2 Peter 1:3). Everything that matters we already know—how we got here, where we’re going, how it ends, who wins. God is not up in heaven debating with himself whether he probably should have told us a little bit more. In no way has he shorted us on any vital information.
In fact, he’s gone beyond it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him,” he tells us in James 1:5. He’s promised to give us wisdom when we seek Him in the midst of our trials. “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding” (Proverbs 3:13).
He’s created us with the capacity for being taught by him and learning through our own life experience. “Reprove a wise man, and he will love you,” we’re told in Proverbs 9:8. Even the knowledge gained through other people’s challenging of us is a gift from God to our easily confused hearts.
We don’t have to know every Why when we know the Who that knows them all. We can make enough sense of seemingly senseless situations by simply bringing eternity into the equation, resting in his sovereignty, and acknowledging his goodness in choosing what we can’t know—because he’s God and we’re not.
“Why?” isn’t really the right question to be asking. The better question is what we’re doing with what he has chosen to show us, because “the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
Not every why receives an answer. That’s true. But in savoring what has been revealed, which is more than we realize, you and I have the opportunity to experience God’s Word as his provision for our joy and fulfillment—and the only answer we truly need for all our questions.
To learn more from Pastor James’ fearless Bible-preaching, visit jamesmacdonald.com.