Incomplete Answers

God never told the Israelites why he let them be enslaved for four hundred years. He never answers all the “why” questions about our afflictions.

For The Israelites

God used the Israelite enslavement to transform a small nomadic shepherd family into a nation of millions, but could he not have accomplished the same goal while they lived freely in their promised homeland?

Why did God wait 400 years to rescue them? Would not the same ten plagues have secured their release after only a year of enslavement?

Nowhere in the Bible does God explain why he allowed the Israelites to remain captive for so long.

For Us

We can accept the normality of suffering when our ordeals are brief, infrequent, and mild, and our sense of fairness is never violated. But questions arise when our afflictions are severe, continuous, or unfair.

If God is good, why does he let us endure so much misery? If he hates to see us suffer, why does he not do more to prevent affliction? Why does he not bless us with more abundance if he truly loves us?

Jesus underscored these questions.

He personified perfect compassion, yet he did nothing to rescue his cousin, John the Baptist, from prison and subsequent execution. He healed many sick people, but not everyone. At no time did he bless his disciples with affluence.

The Bible never explains his rationale for these decisions.

Many Old and New Testament heroes questioned God about their adversities. His response ranged from silence to “Who are you to question me?” to “The reasons I choose to do or not do anything are mine alone to know.”

God has determined that we already have enough information to trust him in all circumstances. We may need to trust him by faith when the going gets tough, but the justification for faith is always present and sufficient.

To demand that God answer our “why” questions before we trust him is to suggest his current level of disclosure is inadequate and his determination to the contrary is incorrect. Moreover, this requirement implies our judgment is better than his.

If this were true, he would not be God. We would be God.