Lately I have been hearing a lot of people putting words in God’s mouth. It’s not their fault really because they are being pressed to do so. I’m talking about the news media and talk shows hosts who get religious leaders on TV and then pummel them with questions.
Why did God allow such-and-such disaster? Was this a case of God’s judgment? Is this an act of God or a natural event? What kind of a God allows so much suffering?
As the religious leader struggles with the answer you can almost see the “gotcha” mentality working in the person asking the questions. They are just waiting to hear a sound byte they can pounce on – like they are out to prove that God is a big meanie and the guest is a narrow minded, ignorant fool.
God says this about himself; “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) The truth is that we live in a lot of mystery and we should be honest about that. As we continue to ponder God’s Word and seek to understand his heart it’s okay to admit that we don’t have all the answers.
Like the guests on the TV shows we are often pressed to explain God’s purposes to those around us who are experiencing pain or adversity. Are we so sure we have all the answers right? Maybe just listening and lovingly being there for someone is a greater benefit than some of our fancy answers. I would rather say “I don’t know” than put any wrong words in God’s mouth.