My dad always says that there are no stupid questions, only stupid people. That’s probably more true than it’s popular to admit; common sense isn’t really that common… but I think there are also a lot of smart people who do ask really stupid questions.
Lately I’ve been asking God a lot of questions, and that idea comes to mind a lot… I’ve come the realize that perhaps I’m just not asking the right things…. maybe I’m asking stupid questions…?
A few years ago there was a pretty popular book that came out called The Prayer of Jabez… it’s pretty much a self-help book wearing a Bible mask, it’s totally heretical and totally misses the point of what The Bible actually says, but it made the best seller list and made someone a lot of money… The premise is that God wants to give you earthly, material wealth and the reason you don’t have it is because you never asked for it… you just need to pray the prayer of Jabez and wait for the cash.
I image there are a lot of people who would have a lot more wealth if they never spent $15 on that book, or written any checks to Joel Osteen…
I agree that the problem is that we aren’t asking the right questions… we’re asking stupid questions… “God, where were you?”, “Why did that happen?”, “God please let me make more money”, “God would you give me a new job?”, “God would you make my family get along?”, “God, would you make me healthy?” “God, couldn’t you just make me happy?”, “God, could you make things a little easier?”…
This morning I was reading 2 Samuel, about King David and got to the part about Bathsheba… remember that part? He had an affair with her and got her pregnant so David murdered her husband and made her is wife to cover it up? Well, I kept on reading and ended up in 1 Kings, a little while later in the story, when they have a second baby who grows up to be King Solomon, the man who would one day build the Temple in Jerusalem… He grew up to be a godly man, and one day God appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘ask for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.’ Solomon said, ‘You loved my father David because of his righteousness, and you gave him a son to sit on his throne, but I am just a child, I don’t know how to lead like my father did and all the people are depending on me… so please give me understanding, let me discern good from evil so I can lead.’
This request made God happy, and he said, ‘you could have asked for wealth or to live forever, or for the heads of your enemies, but you didn’t, you asked for wisdom! Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, such that there has been no one like you before, nor shall anyone like you arise again. I have also given you all that you did not ask for… riches and honor so that there will never be another like you even among kings!’
1 Kings 10:23 says “and Solomon became greater than all the kings of the Earth in riches and wisdom! All the Earth was seeking the presence of Solomon!” Read the rest of chapter 10 for picture of what his wealth was like… it’s true that even today, nobody lives like Solomon did… he had so much wealth that when he built the temple he used up nearly 70% the worlds known gold supply… and while statistics vary, it’s quite possible that you could go to the store today and buy jewelry containing bits of Solomon’s gold without realizing it.
Solomon asked the right question. He didn’t ask for money or power or health… he asked to be a good man.. and God gave him that, and everything else.
Are you and I asking the right questions? Are we asking for selfish things or godly things? Do we ask for money or for the wisdom to manage it? Do we ask for jobs or for the ability to manage our time? Do we ask for health or for the wisdom to take care of ourselves? Do we ask to be godly or popular/powerful/successful? Do we ask to be leaders or celebrities?
Perhaps we need to ask God to teach us what to ask for… because we ask a lot of stupid questions.