Which statement do you believe is true?
There’s no such thing as a dumb question.
Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.
Thankfully, God doesn’t dismiss our questions, regardless of how dumb or unconsidered they may be. In fact, it would be right to conclude that we have a biblical mandate to know God and study His Word by asking questions and seeking answers.
Abraham received one of the greatest pictures of God's covenant of grace when he asked God the almost impertinent question "O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?" Moses' relationship with God went deeper at two crucial points in Exodus when he asked God questions like "what is your name?" , "show me your ways" and "show me your glory."David, who lived close to God's heart, was full of questions. The whole prophetic book of Habbakuk is built around a dialog between God and the prophet Habbakuk as he asked God a series of questions, then waited in faith and dread for God's reply.
In the New Testament, Peter's great sermon in Acts chapter two was launched by a question from the crowd, Paul's letter to the Romans is built around a series of questions; Paul's letter of I Corinthians seems to be built around answers to a series of questions the church has asked him, and the first chapter of Hebrews begins and ends with questions and answers.
But the One who seemed to love questions the most was Jesus. He commended His disciples and "those with them" for asking Him about the meaning of His parables, even saying that the questioners had found the secret of the Kingdom of God! He got angry at the Pharisees when they stopped asking questions and were silent, and specifically told His disciples to "ask, and you will receive, seek, and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you., for whoever asks receives…". Jesus could not have been clearer in sharing the priority of asking questions and seeking.
The Bible not only puts a priority on asking questions, it calls us to seek for answers. I Chronicles says to "seek the Lord and His strength…"; I Chron 28:9 promises that if you seek Him He will be found by you; Psalms 27:8 talks of the heart "seeking His face;" and Isaiah 34:16 says "seek and read from the book of the Lord." This is put most powerfully by the author of Proverbs who instructs students to "make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding, cry out for insight, raise your voice for understanding, seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures. Then, you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God."
Think and pray
From the beginning of the Bible to the end, and especially in Jesus, there is the priority of asking and seeking as the way to come to know wisdom and truth. It is the way to know God and experience Him in His Word. He will either answer you, or redirect the question itself, as Jesus often did. Often, He would answer the question that should have been asked.
Good answers turn dumb questions into great questions.
Lord, I know You are the source of all truth and wisdom, and that You alone provide everything I need for life and godliness. Give me an inquiring heart to know You. Thank You that I can approach your throne with confidence, knowing that You will receive and answer me. Amen.
Bob Grahmann (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is director of the IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) Eurasia Institute for Staff Development and Training in Kiev, Ukraine. An ordained minister in the Reformed Church, he has previously served as a pastor and as director of Bible and life for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA.