How God Answers the Question “Why?”

So far in our look at comforting facts for difficult times we have noted that, 1) God is sovereign – He knows what He is doing, and 2) even if God explained His plan, we wouldn’t comprehend it. When life is difficult we cry out to the LORD, “Why?!?” How does God answer?

When the LORD spoke from the burning bush He told Moses that He wanted him to deliver the Israelites from Egypt. Moses questioned God’s choice to send him to Egypt, in essence saying, “Why me? I can’t even right speak!” The LORD attempts to change Moses’ focus when He says to Moses, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” (Exodus 4:11, ESV) Faith is not to be placed in oneself or one’s abilities, but instead in the LORD who directs us to act. God answers questions of “why?” with a “Who”.

Job suffered greatly. But why? From the Devil’s viewpoint Job suffered because he was righteous. From the perspective of Job’s friends he suffered because they thought he had sinned. When God finally answers Job directly He never says why Job suffered. He answered with a “Who”. The LORD asked Job a series of questions such as “Did you make…? Do you know…? Have you…?” All of these questions are to help Job see that it is the LORD who has directed the events of his life.

Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. [Then Job quotes God’s earlier question to him] ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. [Again Job quotes God’s earlier demand of him] ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1–6, ESV)

Job realized that all he said and questioned was from a perspective of ignorance. Now that he understands better WHO God is, he despises his arrogance and places his trust completely in God. God answers questions of “why” with a “Who”. It takes faith to trust Him, but it is faith that pleases Him (see Hebrews 11:6).

God is completely trustworthy in all that He does, no matter how it may seem in the moment.

Further reading: Exodus 3-4:20; Job 38-39; Psalm 24; Hebrews 11:6


David Harris is the Senior Pastor at Faith Baptist Church. A former programmer, in his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife Kim and trying his hand at the illusive craft of smoking meat.