We Don’t Know

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter but the glory of kings to search out a matter.”
(Proverbs 25:2)

“To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.  For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.  Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”
(Matthew 13:11-13) 

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God…”
(Deuteronomy 29:29)

A hmmmmm moment just now.

I clicked on the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) channel a bit ago and caught the tail end of a Q&A with Ravi Zacharias.  Just knowing that is enough to glue me to the boob tube for a while!  He had just recommended Os Guinness’ book God In The Dark: The Assurance of Faith Beyond A Shadow of Doubt to a young man whose question reflected concern for those who had felt let down by God.  Then he broke off the session with a parable that has me going hmmmm, isn’t that something?

It seems that Elijah was traveling the countryside with a rabbi when they happened upon a dilapidated lean-to owned by a poor man and his ailing wife.  Outside the shack was a skinny cow whose ribs were poking through its hide.  The couple let Elijah and guest to spend the night with them, offering them the best of their cupboard: a cake of bread, some butter and milk.  During the night, suddenly and sadly, a wall collapsed in the poor couple’s humble cottage but Elijah had no miracle for them, despite their hospitality.

Later that day they happened upon a very rich man who entertained them and allowed them to spend the night.  The evening’s fare he spread before them included rich, fat morsels and a feast fit for kings.  What a bounty!  The next morning, a wall also fell in the rich man’s house and Elijah immediately performed a miracle and restored the wall.

As the two travelers continued their journey together the rabbi could not wait to ask the burning question: why would you restore that rich man’s wall and let the poor couple suffer their fate without intervening?

Elijah said, “Ah sir, the Lord showed me the poor man’s wife was going to die the next day and I interceded for her and she was healed.  She and her husband are so grateful to God for His overshadowing miracle they will gladly rebuild the wall together out of joy of being restored to each other.”

“As for the rich man,” Elijah continued, “he is so bound to his greed.  He is held captive to it.  Behind his wall is a pot of gold and because I performed such a miracle for him, he will never know it, never touch it, and never be bound to it.”

Ravi ended the parable by saying that we have many questions as to why this wall fell and that wall stayed up, why this one was left in rubble and the next is miraculously restored.  His point was, quite obviously, God has a perspective on all things we do not have and He sees the end from the beginning.  He can also see through the wall that looms large and unexplained before us and He holds our tomorrow in His great big Hands.  We bow to the supreme great God who will answer our questions one day but we would be well served to remember that our time is but a “speck in a sea of eternity.” 

Have you had any hmmmmmmm or aha! moments of late? 


7 thoughts on “We Don’t Know

  1. brotherjohnny says:

    Not so much ‘hmmmmmm’ or ‘Aha!’….but more like, ‘uuuuhhhh….’.
    It’s so hard, brother, when our little ones get sick.

    My 4 yr. old Becky has been battling a staph infection for the last month, and I tell you…
    It has been tough.
    There’s a lot of this staph/mrsa going around all over the place right now, some of the cases being fatal. Especially for the very young and the aged.

    All things come into question…as temptation, of course.

    I have been greatly encouraged over the last couple of days by so many saints who are lifting Becky and our family up to the Lord in prayer….it’s so easy to feel defeated and alone during these kinds of trials.

    But, yes, even in this, the Lord knows something that I do not, and He is at work, in spite of this thing!!

    Thank you for reminding me that there is always more than what we see on the surface, brother.

    By the way, is that story in the old testament?
    If so, do you know where?

    I pray all rest in Jesus for you and yours, Scott.


  2. Caleb says:

    I have so many questions. I so want to understand and know what God is doing. I hate being left out of the loop. I at least would like to have a handle on the big picture. My personal circumstances sometimes push me to conclude that I have no understanding. Your words today brought home for me how Rom. 8:28 is true. “Understanding” is not a prerequisite of trust.

    I have no idea how my computer works, but it does. I don’t have to understand God, I have to believe him. Do you think that’s part of the easy burden and light yoke that Jesus spoke of?


  3. Evelyn says:

    God is so good!
    Only a good God would take things that would harm and lead us away from Him-out of our way while allowing others to remain that would cause us to seek Him out so as to cling tighter to Him. He never gives us more than we can bear and always leaves a way to find Him.
    God knows that it is in our nature to be satisfied with less than the best and the best that He has in the trial etc…. that He allows into our lives. Though the teaching seems hard as you are passing through it all there should be no doubt that He has allowed it, watches over us through it, wants us to LEAN on Him knowing that He who started this good work in us is faithful to complete it and we come out proclaiming HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD.
    Thanks for sharing Pastor Scott and may you and your family rest in His sovereignty this day. Blessings, Evelyn


  4. pasturescott says:

    JT, count me in on the prayers for little Becky…oh, how the heart hurts for the little one. I know something about staph: I contracted it about 15-16 years ago…I know how to pray, dear one!

    As for the story, no, you won’t find it in the OT–it’s a fictitious account, but no less impactive, eh?

    Love you man!

    God, hold sweet Becky tonight. Amen.


  5. pasturescott says:

    Caleb, what a statement: “understanding is not a prerequisite of trust.” You are so right man, and I thank God for your reminder that His commands are not burdensome (1 Jn 5). Thank you, kind sir, for contributing pure gold to this edition. Be blessed.


  6. pasturescott says:

    Ev, I remember a poem I got from my Mom, I think, called, “Lean Hard.” Your comment reminded me of its place in my life and though I cannot remember the verses, I will never forget that simple maxim. Thank you for your blessing this day as I have nothing else to rest in but His sovereignty and to know: MY GOD IS FOR ME!


    Much love to you,

    P.S. Prayer meetings with you are never just ‘meetings’ in the traditional sense…except in the sense of divine encounters!


  7. brotherjohnny says:

    Thanks Scott,…and yes…very impactive!


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