Asking questions to understand something is an innate part of who we are as human beings. We see this in young children as they constantly ask the question, “Why?” over and over and over. Although this can be an exasperating experience at times for adults, we know that the child is just trying to learn and process the world around them. So, why is it that some people say it is wrong to question God and that we should just have faith, if questioning is one of the main ways that people learn?
In Psalm 13, David is experiencing great sorrow because of his enemies. The sorrow is so great that he questions God again and again, wondering where He is in this difficult, painful moment. Verse 1 states, “…will You forget me forever?…” Some might say this is sin because they view it as attacking God’s character and accusing Him of unfaithfulness, but that is not at all what David is doing. We know David is not accusing God because verse 5 shows us this much in that David also states, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.“
David is asking questions because he doesn’t understand what God is doing and why. David has assumptions about how God should act, but God doesn’t fit his assumptions. David wants God to act in a certain way because of his distress, yet he knows that God is and has a steadfast love, even if it doesn’t feel like it in this particular situation. The Hebrew word for “steadfast love” is “hesed.” There really is no good, single word in the English language that can truly convey its full meaning, but it is a love that is promised in convenantal loyalty to someone else. In other words, God will fulfill His promises and actions towards the individual based on His love and loyalty. David is confident in God’s love towards him even when he doesn’t fully understand why God is choosing to do what He is doing. Regardless, David knows that God is committed to him in loving faithfulness. By trusting in God’s character instead of his circumstances, David gains a richer faith not by creating God in his own image but instead by allowing God to reshape his understanding into a fuller knowledge of who He truly is.
By David asking his questions while also trusting in who God is, He grows deeper in his faith and in his intimacy with God. David wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions to and about God because he wanted to know and trust Him more intimately. Are you wondering where God is in your painful moment? Why not ask Him and trust that He will reveal to you a deeper sense of knowing who He truly is and a deeper, richer faith that can trust Him more.