Can we QUESTION God during our TROUBLES?
June 7 Bible Reading: Psalms Chapters 1-9
"O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O Lord--how long?" (Psalms 6:1-3)
Psalm 6 is the first of seven penitential psalms (32; 38; 51; 102; 130; 143), five of which are ascribed to David. In the penitential psalms the psalmist attributes his affliction to his sin, and consequently the psalm is both an expression of remorse and a confession of sin. David is very conscious that he deserves to be rebuked, but he does not want the sovereign God to destroy him with a rebuke. Thus, he seeks mercy from God for his physical well-being (vs. 2), as well as his spiritual well-being (vs. 3–4).
We need to understand that some believers fall sick due to unconfessed sin in their lives (1 Cor. 11:30), but this is not always the case. God sometimes permits sickness in the lives of His children to display works (John 9:3), or, His power and glory (as in the case of Lazarus in John 11:4), or as a means of producing spiritual fruit in the life of a believer (Rom. 5:3), or to prevent sin through pride ( as the case of Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 12:7), or as a natural result of overwork (Phil. 2:30) or even old age (Eccl. 12:3–6).
When troubles come in our lives through sickness, we should ensure that we have no unconfessed sins in our life. Then we should ask the Lord to work out His purposes through our sickness and to heal us if it is His will. Let us be careful to seek the Lord and not only the physicians during our illness unlike King Asa (2 Chron. 16:12). Ultimately, all healing comes from God whether He uses doctors or medicines or prayers to bring that healing.
This brings us to the question – can we question God during our troubles and sickness? What we can understand from reading the different psalms is that it is not a bad idea to question God during our troubles about the things that we are concerned about, if these matters are of utmost concern to us. In Psalms 6:3, the question “O Lord-how long” is a question with a desire to see God’s plan accomplished in David’s life. In Psalms 8:4, “What is man that You are mindful of him?” is a question of awe that God even cares about the sinful human beings. In Psalms 10:1, the question “Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?” is a question that reveals the longing for God’s presence. Finally, in Psalms 15:1, the question "Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?" is the ultimate question regarding who may live in God’s presence.