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Will God hear if we call to Him?

Columbia Biblical Studies: Wednesday, February 19
Columbia Biblical Studies: Wednesday, February 19
George Hodan

Today’s bible study is Jeremiah 33:3: Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

How many times have we called to God to ask for something or someone? How many times have we called to Him in times of trouble, times of grief and sorrow, times of confusion and uncertainty? How often in thanksgiving and praise? Most of us have called to God to grant mercy to a dying friend, to heal a child who is ill, or to grant us strength to handle a difficult situation. Often we have called to God in anger and in vain, even unsure that God is even there to hear us. We are familiar with the words, ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?’ Surely, we sometimes feel that God has forsaken us. Our prayers have not been answered, at least not in the way that we had hoped they would be. We have not felt any stronger or more peaceful or happier. We have had to work our way through our grief and suffering.

But, whether we are consciously aware of it or not, God does hear us when we call to Him and answers us according to His will, which may not always be the same as our own will. God will never forsake us, or will he simply be the beneficent gift-giver and grant our every wish. He will answer us according to His holy will. In the Lord’s Prayer, we say, ‘Thy will be done.’ We don’t say, ‘My will be done.’ It is God’s will that will be done whenever we call to Him and, whether we recognize it or not, His work is for the good of us, His beloved children.

‘Great and unsearchable things’ is an especially interesting concept. It’s quite easy for us to think of great things, at least great by our own simply standards. Yet, these are not the great things of which Jeremiah speaks and the great and unsearchable things that we do not know about. The great and unsearchable things are things known only to God and part of the great mystery that is life, faith and eternity. These are things that we ‘see through a mirror darkly.’ They are things that we cannot and do not understand and that we have to trust the great love and goodness of God to explain and fulfill. We may, throughout our mortal lives, ‘know in part.’ Or, we may not be able to know at all. Unsearchable things are the province of God Almighty and will be secreted from us until it is the proper time and place for their disclosure.

Many of us, as Christians, spend a great deal of our lives searching. We search for truth and guidance and answers. We listen to sermons, read and try to interpret the bible, discuss passages with other Christians. We seek truth in science, in nature, in history, in archaeology and in faith. We, like Thomas, sometimes even doubt. And this is part of the process of learning. We look at different viewpoints and study different philosophies. We are always searching and, to some small extent, finding answers. But, ultimately, only God will know and give us the answers that we so desperately seek. No matter how intensive our search, how hard our work, how long our hours of study, much will remain unknown to us, and we can only trust in the goodness of the Holy Spirit to know that this is right and good. We are not stupid. It is God’s province to understand and not ours.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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