READ: 2 Chronicles 25, Psalm 134, Luke 1, 1 Peter 1
In Luke 1 we encounter two seemingly similar questions. Zacharias is told that his aged wife will have a son and he asks: “How shall I know this? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years” (Luke 1:18)? For his question he is struck dumb–unable to speak. A few verses later, a young virgin girl is told she will become pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. She asks, “How can this be, since I do not know a man” (1:34)? For her question she is considered most favored among women.
It’s not that God can’t handle our questions. God is not insecure, threatened by our inquiries. God is not impatient, unwilling to respond to the confusion of his naïve little ones. Yet this text clearly shows that some questions make God angry and others please Him. The difference between Zacharias’ and Mary’s questions are thankfully explained for us in this passage. In Zacharias’ case: “But behold, you will be mute and unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time” (1:20). For Mary, “blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord” (1:45). Belief sanctifies our questions.
Jesus loves those who believe. Jesus loves belief. There is something about trust in our little puny hearts that pleases the Godhead to no end. Conversely, lack of belief really ticks God off–especially when He finds it among those who have walked with Him for a long time and should know better. The difference in belief responses is highlighted by the fact that Zacharias was a godly man who had walked in righteousness for years; he of all people should have believed. Mary was a young teenager without the luxury of tenured intimacy with God; she of all people would have been understood for not believing.
God can handle our questions when we ask them believing. “OK, God, you have said this, so I know it will happen. It is, however, such a ridiculously impossible prediction, I am just dying to know–how in the world are you going to do this?” God loves those types of questions and rewards the faith behind them. He is not so enthused with those who know Him best and trust Him least. Those who have walked with Jesus should do so cautioned–He expects us to trust Him. Let us bring our questions to Him in belief, those are questions He delights to answer. He will answer our doubt based questions, too, but those answers are not as much fun to receive.