READ: Job 10-12, Psalm 3, Luke 20, Revelation 4

AUTHORITY TO NOT ANSWER

Jesus is under no obligation to answer our questions. The only ones compelled to give answers are those inferior to the inquisitor. Those in authority can choose if and how they answer questions, and when a superior detects a poor attitude or a challenge behind the inquiry, he or she has every right to remain silent.

Job, in his agony, asks God the “Why?” questions (Job 10:2, 18). Job understands that God made him and is now unmaking him but does not understand why. He understands the process but not the point. Why God? All things are in your hand, why have you allowed (or caused) such suffering? Unlike the cavalry of the Light Brigade, we are not bound in the unthinking, unquestioning of “not for them to reason why,” God is big enough to answer our questions, even to welcome them. For God it is not a matter of asking why, it is a matter of attitude and authority.

In Luke 20, those hungering to protect their manufactured authority (and insecure about the unnatural authority they felt Jesus was acquiring) approach Jesus with a question. They want to know who gave Him the right to exercise power. This type of question (rooted in a desire to be in control) is unacceptable to Jesus, and He in essence refuses to answer it. Jesus rejects the premise of the question: that He is in any way under the authority of man. When we approach God from an attitude of control, He does not tolerate the question–for we have no right to resist His absolute right to reign. When we approach God in our brokenness from a desire to understand, He graciously tells us, “Come up here, and I will show you things” (Rev. 4:1). The self disclosure of God is connected to the humility of man. God takes the initiative to explain things to us when we are lowly. When we are demanding, God lets us simmer down for a season. He is not an almanac or a search engine–at our beck and call for answers. He has all authority, even the authority to not answer us.

It is in this context of authority that Jesus reveals the two options for man. We can either be broken, or we can be ground to powder (Luke 20:18). Our pride leads us to hunt for other results, but there are none. God is so overwhelming that we can either throw ourselves on Him, allow Him to deconstruct us, break us, and remake us, or we can allow the course of time to bring the weight of deity crashing down on us to obliterate us. Questions from a broken heart are welcomed and accepted by the Lord of glory. Questions intended to challenge or control are crushed. Be careful not only of what you ask, but how you ask it.

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