God asks men questions when He already knows everything. Because God is sovereign over His creation, whether visible or invisible, He has to be all-knowing. God is omniscient (1 John 3:20). “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). He knows when a sparrow falls or when we lose a single hair (Matthew 10:29-30).
God can read all our thoughts, even before we speak forth (Psalm 139:4). He knows our hearts from afar; He even saw us in the womb (Psalm 139:1-3, 15-16). Solomon expresses this truth perfectly when he says, “For you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind” (1 Kings 8:39).
The Lord knows the past and the present and He knows the future as well (Acts 15:18; Isaiah 46:10). For His eyes “are in every place” (Proverbs 15:3) and “His understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5). There is a limit to human knowledge, but there is no searching out of God’s understanding.
Seeing that God knows everything, why does He bother to ask men certain questions? Consider the following examples:
God asked Adam “where are you” (Genesis 3:9); He questioned Cain regarding his brother (Genesis 4:9); He asked Abraham about his wife (Genesis 18:9); He asked Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (Job 38:4); And Jesus asked the multitude “Who touched Me?” (Luke 8:45).
The purpose of these questions was to lead the individual to think deeply about their relation with God. The Lord asks questions to help us grow in our spiritual understanding. Humans have also used this same method. Socrates, one of the greatest educators, taught his pupils by asking questions. The Socratic method is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to bring about critical thinking. Also, Plato used dialogues to stimulate his students to think critically beyond the surface and find the right answers.
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In His service,