|Volume 21 Number 12 December 2019||
The Bible is a book full of answers. The Bible furnishes us with everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). However, the Bible is also a book filled with questions. Sometimes there are questions asked by those who feel as if God deserted them (Psalm 10:1). God had a host of questions from Job when He appeared out of the whirlwind after Job complained about His absence (Job 38:1-3). The Pharisees had questions for Jesus, and Jesus had questions for them that they would not answer (Matthew 21:23-27).
The Book of Genesis is the book of beginnings. The word Genesis means beginning. As we open our Bibles to the first book in the Bible, we read of the beginning of the world, the beginning of God’s fellowship with man, the beginning of sin and the beginning of questions. There are several important questions asked in the first few chapters of Genesis that still need to be answered today.
Where Are You?
After Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed God, He confronted them in the Garden (Genesis 3:1-6). God came to them, but He was not welcomed by Adam and Eve. Instead, they hid from Him as their guilt consumed them (Genesis 3:7-8). God asked Adam, “Where are you?” God was not asking Adam where he was because He could not find him. God created the Garden and all of its intricacies (Genesis 1:31). God knows everything and does not need anyone to teach Him anything (Romans 11:33-36). So, why did He ask Adam where he was? He wanted Adam to examine himself and see what he had allowed sin to do to him and to his relationship with God. Adam, who had once enjoyed genuine and uninterrupted fellowship with God, hid in shame from his Maker.
This question is important and still needs to be answered today. Each individual should take careful consideration of where he stands spiritually. Are you in Christ where all spiritual blessings are present (Ephesians 1:3)? Are you walking in the light with Jesus and being cleansed by His blood (1 John 1:7)? Are you in the church that Jesus is coming back to save (Ephesians 5:23)? Are you involved in works of the flesh that will keep you from the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21)? The question of where we are does not relate to our geographic location. Instead, it relates to our spiritual location. Are we on the Lord’s side or on the side of the devil (Exodus 32:26)? Adam was ashamed of what he had done and where it placed him. He claimed that he was afraid, and his fear was no doubt caused by his sinful actions (Genesis 3:10). If this question causes fear in our hearts, we can repent, realign our lives and leave fear behind. God wants us where He is, and this happens as we reorient our lives to have them shaped by His Word.
Who Told You That?
The second question that God asked Adam was, “Who told you that you were naked?” (Genesis 3:11). God was getting at the heart of Adam’s disobedience and trying to get him to see that the reason he realized he was naked was because he sinned. Adam had been naked his entire life up to this point, and it never bothered him, but now he was ashamed of it. Adam was not getting his information from God. Adam was getting his information from himself and trying to maneuver in the way that he thought was best.
Today in religion there is a lot of information being passed around. Many never stop to consider who is telling them the things they are believing. Paul was disappointed in the churches of Galatia as they were being moved away from the true Gospel due to the influence of false teachers (Galatians 1:6-9). Paul asked them who bewitched them (Galatians 3:1). He wanted to know if they received the Spirit by the hearing of faith or by the works of the law (Galatians 3:2). Paul asked them how they began in the Spirit and now were trying to be made perfect through the Law of Moses (Galatians 3:3). Through these questions, Paul hoped to get those Christians to see their inconsistency.
We might ask similar questions concerning some issues that come up in our own day. Who told you that you can drink as long as you don’t get drunk (Ephesians 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8; 1 Peter 4:1-4)? Who told you that one church was as good as another (Matthew 16:18-19; Ephesians 4:4)? Who told you that evening worship and Wednesday night services were optional (Hebrews 10:25)? Who told you that as long as your heart is in it, God doesn’t care how you worship (Matthew 15:7-9; John 4:23-24)? There are many more questions that we could ask here. Nevertheless, the point is we should consult the Word of God and not the words of men.
Have You Disobeyed God?
God asked Adam if he had eaten of the tree that He told him from which not to eat (Genesis 3:11; 2:16-17). God simply asked Eve, “What have you done?” (Genesis 3:13). God did all that He could to get Adam and Eve to admit their wrongdoing, but they failed to do so. They shifted the blame toward one another and eventually to the serpent. God knew that they disobeyed, and He laid out their punishment. The world is forever changed because of their disobedience (Romans 5:12). They were evicted from the Garden, and they would die (Genesis 3:22-24; 5:5). All of this happened because they disobeyed God.
While every hardship in our lives is not a direct correlation to our disobedience, sometimes we suffer because we are disobeying God. King Saul learned the hard way that to obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). Our love of God is seen when we keep His commandments (1 John 2:3-5; 5:3). When we are in uncomfortable circumstances, we should ask if the reason we are in the particular position is because we have disobeyed God. Every act of disobedience comes with a price tag. We will not be sinless, but we can make wise decisions. We need to look inwardly to be sure that our disobedience has not complicated our lives.
Where Is Your Brother?
Cain killed his brother Abel because his works were evil, and his brother’s works were righteous (Genesis 4:1-7; 1 John 3:12). God appeared to Cain and asked him, “Where is your brother?” (Genesis 4:9). Cain avoided the question and shirked his responsibility to his brother. Abel’s blood was crying from the ground, and Cain’s nonchalant attitude could not silence it (Genesis 4:10).
Where is our brother? Where is our sister? We should be sure that if they have strayed from the Lord that we are working to bring them back (James 5:19-20). If they are struggling and overtaken in a fault, we should be helping them to overcome (Galatians 6:1-2). If they are rejoicing, we should rejoice as well (Romans 12:15). If our brother or sister is suffering, we should experience suffering with him or her (1 Corinthians 12:26). God wants us to be our brother’s keeper and to be concerned about where he stands. This was true for the first set of brothers, and it is also true for us today.
The Book of Genesis gives us a lot of answers. The first few chapters have eternal questions that the rest of the Bible helps us answer. God often teaches us today through questions, if we read His Word closely enough. The Bible is a book of questions, and it is also a book of answers.