October 25, 2008


Genesis 18:16-33

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:24


Yesterday we talked about people who ask Why? out of complaint. We also talked about Habakkuk, whose approach to the question was different. He was respectful and sincere; he just couldn’t understand why allowing Israel to suffer under the Babylonians would bring justice. Habakkuk wanted to make sense out of all this. He was not fighting for himself or his people; he was trying to defend the name of God as just and loving.

In our reading for today, Abraham also asked Why? Why would a loving God destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? Though the cities were evil, there had to be something or someone good in them, wasn’t there? So Abraham pleaded with God, and God listened and reasoned with him. In the process, Abraham realized that God is truly both loving and just. God would not destroy those cities if there were someone good in them.

How we handle the why question really depends on our relationship with God. If we are alienated from God, we might hide the why deep in our heart, or we might even think God has nothing to do with us. But if we are close to God, like Abraham or Habakkuk, we ask the question sincerely, expecting God to give us a graceful answer.

If in doubt, pray like the father in Mark 9, who said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Gracious God, thank you for being patient with us. Help us not only to ask Why? but also to ask what we should do in difficult situations. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Jimmy Tai-On Lin

Rev. Jimmy Lin is the Chinese ministry leader of The Back to God Hour. With his staff in Palos Heights and Hong Kong, Rev. Lin has ministered to over 1.3 billion Chinese-speaking people around the world for 16 years through radio, literature, CD/DVD, Internet, and text message. His wife, Doris, is one of the translators of Today into the Chinese language, which now has a circulation of more than 45,000 copies.

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