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Is it wrong to question God?

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At issue is not whether we should question God, but in what manner—and for what reason—we question Him. To question God is not in itself wrong. The prophet Habakkuk queried God concerning the timing and agency of His plan. Rather than rebuke Habakkuk for his questions, God patiently answered, and the prophet ended his book with a song of praise to the Lord.

Many questions are put to God in the Psalms (Psalms 10, 44, 74, 77). These are the cries of persecuted ones desperate for God’s intervention and salvation. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God says, “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come” (Jeremiah 33:3, NLT). How could it be wrong to question God when Jesus Himself encouraged, “Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8, HCSB).

Many godly men in the Bible expressed doubts to God about their ability to serve Him. Moses implored, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11; see also Exodus 4:1, 10–13; 6:12, 30; Numbers 11:13–15). Gideon (Judges 6:15, 17, 36–40), Elijah (1 Kings 19:3–4, 10, 14), and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:6; 15:10) were all fraught with uncertainty about their place in God’s plan. Abraham doubted God’s promises (Genesis 15:8; 17:17–18). Joshua questioned God’s actions (Joshua 7:7–8). Even the Lord’s disciples voiced their reservations (Matthew 11:2–3; Mark 6:37; John 20:25).

Although God does not always answer our questions the way we want or expect, we can conclude from these passages that God welcomes any sincere question from an earnest heart. Insincere questions, or questions from a hypocritical heart, are a different matter. The Pharisees and Jewish leaders often presented their questions to trick or trap Jesus (John 7:53–8:11; Matthew 21:23–27; 22:15–22; ), but He refused to answer them. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Unbelief is a failure to trust the Lord (Psalm 78:22) and a sign of rebellion and disobedience against God (Hebrews 3:12; 11:31). After King Saul disobeyed God, his questions went unanswered (1 Samuel 28:6).

Wondering why God allowed a particular event is entirely different from directly questioning God’s goodness or truthfulness (see 1 John 5:10). Having doubts is not the same as questioning God’s sovereignty and attacking His character. Those attitudes stem from spiritual blindness (2 Corinthians 4:3–4; Romans 1:21; Ephesians 4:18). People who do not belong to God question His works (John 5:38; 8:44–45; 10:22–42; 12:37–40).

In short, an honest question is not wrong or sinful. But cross-examination from a bitter, untrusting, or rebellious heart is the fruit of unbelief. God is not intimidated, shocked, or displeased by our heartfelt questions. He understands our weaknesses and fears (Hebrews 4:15–16; 5:2) and invites us to seek transparent fellowship with Him. When we “question God,” our attitude should reflect a humble spirit, trusting heart, and open mind. We can question the Lord, but we should not expect to receive an answer unless we truly believe in Him and accept His sovereign perspective. God knows our hearts (Psalm 44:21; Romans 8:27) and whether we genuinely desire Him to enlighten us. Our inner intentions determine whether it is right or wrong to question God.

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Is it wrong to question God?
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This page last updated: March 10, 2023