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Asked & Answered

Questions are a tried and true instructive method. Asking a question is often the best way for the one questioned to arrive at an answer. Any question that engages the thought processes is a good exercise, especially when it results in the right answer. 

The biblical writers often asked questions. One of the most critical had to do with God being present, as a dynamic force, among his people. God have mercy on any people who claim to know God, but NEVER experience his glorious presence in their midst. Now to that most critical question proffered by the Psalmist: “Wherefore should the heathen say, WHERE IS THEIR GOD?” (Psalm 79:10). And in another place: “Wherefore should the heathen say, WHERE IS THEIR GOD? (115:2). 

The concern of the Psalmist for Israel is a very real one. For when a PROFESSION is not backed up by PERFORMANCE, even the heathen finally figure out the professor is full of hot air! The prophet Joel expressed the same concern: “Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, WHERE IS THEIR GOD?” (Joel 2:17). 

Joel points out a tragic truth: When the heathen figure out that the God PROFESSED by a people is NOT PRESENT to PROTECT them, they can be conquered, brought into servitude. And those who lead them have every reason to WEEP over the impotent state of affairs! The question asked by the heathen (Israel’s surrounding nations) in OT days is, I believe, the same question being asked by the nations watching America. 

We claim to be “One Nation Under God.” But where is the empirical evidence that God is present among us? The recent hem-hawing, can-kicking deliberations of SCOTUS over the TX abortion law are proof positive the God of creation is an unwelcome quest in our highest Court. The same could be said of the WH and Congress. 

Now we fast-forward to the closing words, the last verse, of Ezekiel’s prophecy, a futuristic look at Israel‘s reputation AND reality when Jesus, her Prince, establishes his kingdom on earth: “It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, THE LORD IS THERE” (Ezekiel 48:35). 

It’s one thing for a people to self-proclaim: “The LORD is HERE.” It’s quite another for others, outsiders, onlookers to proclaim: “The LORD is THERE.” The former is subjective opinion; the latter an objective analysis based on empirical evidence. 

The question being asked by both the Psalmist and Joel was answered by Ezekiel. The answer came a few thousand years after the question; but it was asked and answered. In practical, modern-day terms, the world is asking the same question of the Church, those who name the name of Christ. We’ll know REVIVAL has broken out in America when the question asked of local churches, “Where is their God?” is answered by its neighborhoods, affirming, “The LORD is THERE!”


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