The Expository Files

Great Mysteries

To simply pass the time, to stimulate conversation, or to express real doubts, discussions often take place about the so-called "mysteries of the universe." Typically, questions are raised about God and the Bible. The specific issues are legendary: Where did God come from? Where did Cain get his wife? Why do innocent people suffer? Are good people really going to hell?

I do not want to dismiss any of these questions, unless they are raised as distractions or simply to stimulate intellectual debate (with no spiritual intent). When these are real difficulties they demand attention. Often, however, the purpose or motive is not anything spiritual or moral.

It seems to me there are other questions seldom raised. When people entertain the typical "mystery" questions, there is a popular inclination to focus on God and His Word (Rom. 9:20,21; Acts 26:8). Why not raise questions about man and his behavior?

Why do people sin (Acts 5:3)? Why, after hearing the gospel, do people continue to sin? Why do people hear, believe and obey the gospel, then fall right back into the sins of their past? Why do men act like they are smarter and greater than God? Why do people acknowledge the perfect life and sacrifice of Christ, but live under submission to the devil? Why do young women marry men who exhibit no character? Why do young men use women for carnal purposes and shun the blessing of a pure and honorable marriage (Prov. 5:20)? Why do people who were raised to do what is right rebel against their good parental influences and live a selfish, destructive life? Why do people take care of their bodies, but neglect their souls? Why do so many young families invest in everything but righteousness (Isa. 55:2)? Why do men preach the truth but fellowship error (Eph. 5:11)? Why? Here are some other questions about man and his behavior:

"Why is the house of God forsaken?" Neh. 13:11.

"Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?" Psa. 2:1.

"Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?" Psa. 52:1.

"Why should a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?" Lam. 3:39.

"So why do you worry about clothing?" Matt. 6:28.

There is abundant and easily accessible evidence of God's existence, the truth of His Word and the good news of Christ (Rom. 1:20; Jno. 20:30,31). The real "mysteries" have to do with why men and women do not respond to God as they should. Jesus said, "O you of little faith, why do you doubt?" (Matt. 14:31).

By Warren E. Berkley
The Final Page
From Expository Files 8.2; February 2001