If God knows everything, why does he ask questions?
The first occasion in Genesis 3 v 9 where God asks Adam – “Where are you?” is very similar to today’s passage – Genesis 16 v 7 – , where the angel of the Lord asks Hagar, “Where have you come from, and where are you going?” God doesn’t ask because he doesn’t know. He asks to make that person realise, that maybe they don’t know. Did Adam realise he’d walked out on innocence and his relationship with God? Did Hagar have a plan? Did she realise she’d left behind all security, safety and provision, and that alone and vulnerable she had nowhere to go?
I find it heart-warmingly encouraging that God sets out to encounter these two who had both done wrong. Even from these earliest days, God wanted to make a way back from sin.
The other thing that these questions signify, is that we cannot run away from the consequences of our misdeeds. God requires that we face up to it when we have done wrong. But then the tenderness! The provision of clothing for Adam and Eve, and the concern for the safety of Hagar, a mere servant, and her unborn child – all so important to God. Whatever messes we get ourselves into, God is aware, and will seek us out to offer us a way back.
Two thoughts spring to mind.
- Is there a question God is asking me?
- If someone has offended or upset me, what questions should I be asking them and why?