Why: For What Reason or Purpose

She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus . . . for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God].

(Matthew 1:21 AMP)

quest007

So far on this quest to discover the kind of questions God asks, we have heard Him ask where and what.

Recently with a group of women, we were discussing the impact of asking “why” questions. Asking why often puts the listener on the defensive, so we were thinking of other ways to build relationship by asking open ended questions.

But we also admitted that asking why sometimes helps those involved in the conversation to understand the purpose or motivation behind a response, thus creating a greater ability to live in peace with each other.

This conversation led us to wondering if God ever initiated a why based question. I was suprised that I didn’t have to go much further in the book of Genesis to find the answer.

By chapter 4, Adam and Eve have suffered the consequences of questioning God’s word. They have been sent out of the garden. Even though their work and lives would now be marked with painful living and death, they proceed to “be fruitful and multiply” as God intended. They have two sons, Cain and Abel.

We come upon a conversation between God and Cain, after each brother had made an offering to God. God did not accept Cain’s offering. And Cain became very angry. In the next scene, we find God asking a searching question:

 “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? (Genesis 4:6 NLT)

There has been much speculation about why God’s response differed for each brother’s offering. However, in reading this passage, I marvel at God’s pursuing love. He takes this opportunity to speak to Cain’s heart. To give him a chance to turn things around.

Listen again. Can you hear the love, the kind desire to see this son of God be victorious over sin?

“Why are you angry?” the Lord asked him. “Why is your face so dark with rage?  It can be bright with joy if you will do what you should! But if you refuse to obey, watch out. Sin is waiting to attack you, longing to destroy you. But you can conquer it!” (Genesis 4:6,7 The Living Bible)

Unfortunately, Cain doesn’t respond to this loving discipline. And when he goes to take matters into His own hands, God remains true to His character. He comes to find Cain and ask him what has happened.

God could be very angry at this point, and maybe He was, but His questions and His actions toward Cain are marked with mercy.

(These questions of God have been hard, but not harsh. I challenged myself to answer this particular question: “Why are you so angry?” in my journal. At first, I didn’t know if I’d have an answer. I am not very good at “dealing” with my anger. I ignore it, stuff it, hold it under water hoping it will drown, but then it explodes like a bomb, with lots of pain and fallout. But writing about it was a release, so I encourage you or even dare you to answer this question in the presence of our merciful Father and see where He takes you.)

What do you do with your anger?

9 thoughts on “Why: For What Reason or Purpose

  1. kel, I love answering questions in my journal and asking women in my classes to do the same. Writing is like a bucket which you dip into life’s deep soul-well, and it’s amazing, sometimes (oft-times, really) what your pen and pull draw up. I will never forget writing in a restaurant before my lunch was to be served. Someone whom I love dearly had not been willing to converse w/ me about something…..saying, something like “We disagree, so it’s best not to talk about it.” I began to write about my hurt, realizing how much I love this person and that I had wanted to dialogue–not argue. But I had been cut off. And as I wrote, I realized how often throughout my life, w/ this person, this very thing had happened. I didn’t realize how incredibly angry I was until I wrote it out. And of course, in some ways, I felt guilty about being angry b/c of my great love. But the act of writing, allowed me to express anger, to get it out, to love and forgive. This person still cannot hear anything contradictory to his/her own beliefs; and I realized that is ok. I’ts not worth it to me to hurt him/her. But I do have a way to vent and process to the Lord, and it’s a win-win to me. Some might disagree–that I should be able to express deeply (contradictory or not) to someone I love that much and who loves me. But in the end, I can’t force my opinions on anyone, and the only one ultimately who needs to hear me is God. For me, writing has become a solution.,

    1. Lynni- What a great solution and testimony to the power of dialoguing with God in our journals! Writing is poweful! Thank you for teaching me to use questions in my journal and that quest is in a question.

  2. What do I do with my anger? That’s a good question, Kel. At this point in my life, I am finally learning to feel the feeling, but then to release it to God. It does me no good to hang on to things that, in the big scheme of things, don’t matter much at all.
    But years ago? Sweet mother of pearl!!! I did not even realize or recognize my own level of suppressed anger! I recall a conversation with my (then) young adult son. He was preparing to marry and he & I had a chat one night about some fears I was having. In the course of that, he said he now understood why I was such an angry person. To which I replied, “I’m not an angry person…am I?” He told me that in all his growing-up years, I yelled and screamed a lot at him and his sister. I was blown-away by that. I didn’t agree, at first, but I went away thinking about it…for days and days. He was right. I was an angry person. So, then I analysed what might have been the source.There were several things buried deep within—anger at my Mum for dying when I was only 22 years old. Anger at my Dad for all the trouble he caused, for the awful ways he treated me as a girl. Anger at myself for all the stupid things I’d done–just to name a few. It has taken me years, with the total help of God, to come to terms with it all.
    I still have anger over some personal things and your writing prompt today is something I really need to do. I journal a LOT, so I just know this will be an exercise of great benefit to my heart and soul. I thank you for this series, Kel. So helpful, and challenging.

    1. Jillie- What an honest conversation you had with your son and thank God for the ways he helps us grow and express our emotions in safe and healing ways…I love that you journal a LOT…it’s a great practice and way to connect our hearts and minds to our Creator and Savior GOD! I am glad He prompted me to do this series on questions and discovering how He lovingly uses them to draw us closer to Him.

  3. Kel, I really like the Living Bible translation of this verse, “…your face will be bright with joy.” Oh, Jesus, help me make the right choices, to have a face bright with joy.

    Good questions, here, friend.

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