“…He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” (1 Corinthians 3:19)
You may have heard people say the Bible is not God’s Word and it has contradictions. They may ask questions like, “How can a whale swallow a man?” or “How can a flood cover the whole world?” or “How could the whole Egyptian army drown in the Red Sea?” or even “How can a virgin bear a child?”
Luke 1:37 has a simple answer: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Of course, many people may want to hear more, and that’s certainly not wrong. The Bible encourages us to increase our learning: “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;” (Proverbs 1:5)
As to those specific questions, a Google search of “can a whale swallow a man?” will get you a variety of interesting answers. Many teams have also gone to the area of Mt. Ararat in NE Turkey to look for the ark since Genesis 8:4 says it came to rest “…upon the mountains of Ararat.” And wouldn’t it be cool to be on a scuba diving team in the Red Sea and find chariots, swords, and armor at the bottom? And when Gabriel told Mary she’d be the mother of the Saviour, she even asked him the very same question: “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34)
God isn’t afraid of honest questions. One time Jesus walked on water, and Peter challenged him, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” (Matthew 14:28) Jesus didn’t get angry. He told Peter, “Come.” (Matthew 14:29) And Peter actually walked on water, until his faith wavered and he began to sink; not that any of us should judge Peter too harshly. We can all be guilty of a lack of faith at times.
The problem is not asking questions. The problem is thinking that you’re smarter than God when you haven’t given His Word a chance. If you ask a Bible critic how much of the Bible he’s actually read, you may find he’s read very little of the Bible itself, so he hasn’t given it a fair shake. He’s like people who badmouth cops but who have never been cops or even gone on a ride-along to get both sides of the story.
By the way, Proverbs 26:4-5 reads, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” Sounds contradictory, but is it? Or is it God showing atheistic know-it-alls that they’re not as smart as they think they are?
For the sake of argument, let’s say a group of guys gets together to write a book and pass it off as God’s Word. Why do that? For money? For as big as the Bible is, there are easier ways to make money. Still, if we assume this is what happened, the next question is, How could the writer of Proverbs not catch two obviously contradictory statements, but put them back to back like that?
If you’re wondering about the passage, by the way, here’s a possible explanation. Say someone tells you police departments should be disbanded, and social workers should replace cops. He may honestly think it’s a good idea, but he’s naïve at best. Proverbs 26:4 says not to answer him “…according to his folly,” by agreeing that the idea has merit. You know by experience that the idea is absurd and dangerous.
Now if you answer him “…according to his folly,” per Proverbs 26:5, you may say, “Okay, let’s see how your police-free society would work.” Then you could bring up the six-block CHAZ no-cop zone in Seattle and how the lawbreakers turned that area into a dump. Then you could mention that it was the Seattle Police (yes, the police!) who were called in to clear it out. Then hopefully your opponent will see that his thinking is wrong.
No one is smarter than God. The more you read His Word, the more you see how thoroughly He has all the bases covered. God gave us His book to help us fellowship with Him. Most importantly, He wants us to be in heaven with Him for eternity. If you want to see how to be sure you’ll be in heaven when you die, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org
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Brian Miller 7/5/2020
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822