When we struggle through trials, the temptation is to question God about the why. We wonder why it is that we of all people would be put in such a difficult situation. We are His children, after all. There’s a world full of unbelievers that seem to have it easier than we do. And we end up demanding an answer from God.
But when we have such an attitude we’re out of place. Paul writes in Romans 9,
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” – Romans 9:20
A different context
Now, in this instance, there’s a different context to what Paul is speaking about. Specifically, he’s answering the anticipated objection of the one who would look at God’s electing grace and ask how He could find fault in anyone. After all, no one can resist His will. How can He judge someone whom He Himself predestined to be a vessel of wrath?
Paul doesn’t really give an answer. He instead puts the objector in his place. Who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” This is a powerful illustration. Could a pot complain to the potter about its shape or what its function? It has no right. It is the created, and the Creator is the one who has prerogative.
A different application
Even though this is in the context of soteriology, this can certainly apply to other situations of questioning God. For us to rail against God is like being the molded complaining to the molder. It’s not our right, not our place. And we would do well to remember that.
Job, when he demands a reason from God is met with an answer from God that is four chapters long, and the Lord does not give Job a reason for his suffering. Instead, He reminds Job about who He is and who Job is in comparison. And Job is silenced.
We, too, are silenced. We are in no place to put God on trial. Who are we, O men, to answer back to God?
The beauty of the situation, though, is that God is not only sovereign, but He is also good. Not only do we have no place to question Him, but we also have no reason. If we trust that everything is working for His glory and for our good, then we happily submit to His perfect will. May He quiet us by His love.