When the Bible doesn’t answer our questions

Do you ever feel like it’s wrong — almost blasphemous — to have questions about the Bible? After all, it’s the inerrant, Holy Spirit-inspired, God-breathed Scripture.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having questions about the Bible.

What can be wrong, however, is the heart behind those questions. Are you questioning the reliability and inerrancy of Scripture? Are you questioning the Bible’s authority? Are you questioning the character of God, the Holy Spirit or Jesus Christ?

The Bible itself shows us people who asked questions — two kinds of people actually: those who wanted to honor and please Him, but didn’t understand the circumstances they were in; and those who questioned because of a lack of faith in their own life.

In Luke 1, the angel of the Lord tells Mary that she will bear the Son of God. Mary’s response? “How will this be since I am a virgin?” (v. 34). Mary isn’t questioning the accuracy of the angel’s statement or God’s power. She’s simply curious as to how she will become pregnant as a virgin.

On the flip side of that, we see Sarah in Genesis 18. After overhearing that she and Abraham will have a son within the next year, Sarah “laughed silently to herself and said, ‘How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master — my husband — is also so old?’ ” (v. 12). Sarah wasn’t displaying faithful curiosity — she was doubting the power of God.

See the difference? There is both faithful questioning and faithless questioning.

So what do we do when we have questions?

One thing I’ve learned recently from author and teacher Jen Wilkin (check her out if you’ve never heard of her!) is to not ask questions of Scripture that Scripture itself isn’t asking.

God had a purpose behind each and every story and detail included in the Bible. If the answer to your question isn’t in the Bible, trust God’s sovereignty and omniscience. Lean on what questions are answered.

Do we have all the answers about creation? No.

  • Why did God take seven days to create the world when He could’ve spoken it all into existence in an instance?
  • Did creation actually take seven literal days, or is that a literary device used to make a point?

While we’re in Genesis, another question I have:

  • Did all the animals in the garden talk? Just the serpent? Wouldn’t it have been weird that the serpent randomly started talking to Eve?

Okay, none of these questions are really faith-shattering, but the principle applies the same. The Bible doesn’t clearly answer any of those questions. So what questions is it answering?

Just to mention a few:

  • Who created the world? God
  • From what was the world created? Nothing
  • In whose image was mankind made? God’s

From answering those questions — clearly answered in Genesis 1 — what do we learn?

God is eternal and infinite, God is self-existent and self-sufficient and we are made in the image of God.

Those are the details that God, in His sovereignty, deemed vital to the Scriptures. The rest? Questions from the limitations of our human brains.

The point? It’s not bad to ask questions. Ask questions, seek answers. But if you don’t find answers to your questions in the Bible, don’t throw in the towel. Remember, God has given us everything we need in His infallible word. Hold tight to your faith.

Jessica Ingram

Jessica Ingram is a regular contributor to The Rope. She also is the event coordinator for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2017 and is a member of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham.

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