Rhetorical Questions


From Pastor’s Desk: 11-30-14

And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” – Genesis 3:11‑13 (NIV)

Everything changed in God’s creation once Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. They hid when God came near, and in that interaction with God they denied responsibility for their rebellion. This reaction has been a part of human nature ever since. We want to blame others for our responses and we don’t want to give an account to God for our actions. Our inability to face our faults is deeply rooted and we are in desperate need for someone to rescue us from ourselves. Jesus didn’t come to just counsel us; He came to deliver us from our sin. (Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org)

***

Do we need to be reminded that the questions God asked were simply rhetorical? After all, He is Omniscient, knowing anything and everything about anything and everything. Kind of get the idea that the questions were so much more for the benefit of Adam and Eve than His.

It’s still that way today. God moves in certain areas of our lives, knowing exactly what, where, how, when, and with whom we are going to act or react in any given situation. It’s more for our benefit, then, when God asks, “Where are you?” isn’t it? He knows exactly where you are and just might need to make YOU aware of where you are.

Maybe you are treading toward (or in) a place that is not good for you, and will thwart His plan for you. Might be that you are dealing with a situation that is totally opposite of how He wants to deal with it. And consider the timing aspect. God may not be ready for you to do what you are about to do, or maybe you’re lagging behind, not doing what He has laid upon your heart to do. Okay, now let’s deal with the “Whom.” We pacify, justify, rationalize, and overall ignore the tugging of the Spirit pertaining to relationships. For instance, “I know he doesn’t go to church, but I will get him to.” Or, “She is of another faith but I know she will come around to my way of believing.

2 Corinthians 6:14‑17 gives a very definite answer to this type of rational: “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil ? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.” (NLT).

It doesn’t get any plainer than that!

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