Acts 1:6-11(KJV) 6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
We are always looking for answers to questions we have about everything that is happening in our lives! We are even looking for answers that we don’t even know which question to ask for the answer.
Answers give us direction, stabilize our path and give us freedom from worry. It is the nature of humans to always ask question, to always see for the perfect path and to be free from worry. One pastor recently posted that he is okay with worrying, because 99% of the things he worries about never come to pass.
Our times of questions today are no different than it was in Bible times.
- John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask of Jesus, “Are you the one, or do we look for another?”
- The Rich Young Ruler asks of Jesus what does it take to inherit eternal life?
- Nicodemus asks Jesus, “How can a man be born when he is old”?”
The Disciples are ignoring the blessing of the moment to worry about the future. Jesus tells them to go to Jerusalem to receive power. And all they want to know is when will the restoration come!
The Disciples ask if Jesus is going to restore the Kingdom… Jesus answers the disciples in our scripture – “It is not for you to know…”
That leads me to my thought for today…
- There are some things we cannot know.
- There are some things we may never know.
- There are some things we should never know.
And if Jesus says to your question, “It is not for you to know…”
- What will you do with your life with no hope of knowing the answer? Will you throw in the towel because you do not know the answer? Or, will you live more fully because the answer doesn’t matter?
I tell you today, there are many answers that Jesus gives… but this time he states, “It is not for you to know…”
The book of Job is a book of questions. One person tallied up over 600 questions in the book of Job. The story begins with God having a conversation with Satan. When Satan comes before God, he is asked of God, “Why are you here?” To the answer of Satan, God asks, “Have you considered my servant Job?” As a result of this challenging confrontation, Job looses just about everything.
- His oxen, donkeys and servants to Sabean raiders.
- His sheep and other servants to a fire from God in Heaven.
- His camel and more servants to Chaldean raiders.
- His sons and daughters as a result of a storm.
Yet he worships God. He does not charge God for his situation.
- Then he loses his health… Boils, itching, worms, running sores, corroding bones, blackened skin, fevers, and a dramatic change of appearance. The scripture indicates this terrible condition lasted for months.
In all of this Job did not sin, nor charge God with wrong.
Throughout the remainder of the book, questions are the main focus of everyone in the book.
Let’s no focus on the specific questions in the book of Job. What I do want to focus on – There was Never An Answer!
Questions create challenges in our lives. We seem to constantly ask questions. A young child is constantly questioning to learn answers they have not had time to learn in school. A teenager questions adult authority. A young adult questions the system. A young parent questions the children. And the rest of us just question the sanity of the world.
This past week of vacationing left me with lots of questions.
- A person died in the building next to us and I wanted to know what happened – no answer.
- The unit we were in stayed extremely warm even without the heat turned on – no answer.
- The parking spaces were all too close together – no answer.
- Why do the rules of the game require us to do such and such – no answer.
Some answers come only over the long course of time.
- The Children of Israel were in slavery for 400 years – no answers today, let’s pray for relief tomorrow.
- Noah spent upwards of 150 years building the ark and dealing with ridicule, yet he kept building.
We learn over time some very valuable lessons. Sometimes there are answers that God gives us. And other times there are not always answers to our questions.
Sometimes there are answers only in the following of the plan of God.
The story of how God worked with and through Gideon is one of the most remarkable in scripture. Yet often overlooked is the honest way Gideon questioned God and God’s encouraging response to him. In Judges 6:13 Gideon questions God as to “why” all this bad stuff is happening to them, after all, were they not promised the “world” when they came out of Egypt.
God showed no sign of resentment toward Gideon for his question.
Do you know why God doesn’t resent our questions? Because He has the answers!
James 1:5 (New Living Translation) says, “If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.”
The answers we hope to receive are not always what God gives us.
- Paul turns to God at some point in his ministry and prays for a release from a “thorn” in his side. God simply answers, “My grace is sufficient for you…”
- When John the Baptist asks his question from jail… Jesus does not simply give a “yes” or “no” answer – He explains what He is doing as if that should be answer enough.
And then there are times, like with Job, when God never gives an answer.
He doesn’t tell Job why everything happens to him.
And that’s the rub in our life – we want to know why.
Yet, there is something positive that we do know from the Word.
- John 14:18 – I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
- Heb 13:5-6 – 5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
- Rom 8:35-39 – 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.