1 Samuel 4:3
When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the LORD bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.”
Israel had just lost a battle to the Philistines and was counting losses and experiencing the overwhelming pain of defeat. When surviving soldiers returned to the camp, many questions needed to be asked. Were there command failures? Were there logistical challenges? Was there a tactical error? Were the ranks infiltrated by the enemy and secrets leaked? Is every dead body accounted for? Have all families been informed properly of the losses? All these questions are correct, but there is a question we need to begin with. Ask the right question beginning with this one.
On arrival at the camp, the injured soldiers were not asked whether they had eaten or not. The wounded soldiers were not debriefed for further details after the news of defeat. The question that came from elders who are also part of the leadership was a question that teaches us where to begin when asking the right questions. The elders asked and wondered, “Why did the LORD bring defeat on us today before the Philistines?” Ask the right question beginning with this one.
When you experience defeat and loss, you must ask yourself questions. You must ask your partners questions. You must ask your juniors questions. You must ask everybody who matters questions. Asking questions will give answers that will help us understand defeat and prevent it in the future. Ask the right question beginning with this one.
Wrong questions, wrong answers the situation stagnates or gets worse. You need to ask the right questions. Ask questions don’t blame. Ask questions don’t complain. Ask questions do not remain in shock of the loss and defeat. Ask the right question beginning with this one.
In the event of any crisis and undesirable results, just ask the right questions. The first among the right questions is whether this could be a result of a bad relationship with God. Why has God allowed this to happen? Could I or we have offended God? Could it be the tithe and offering we withheld? Could it be the illicit relationship we are maintaining somewhere on the sides in secret? Could it be the double standards we have, we are partly religious and partly secular? Could it be the grudge we have kept and refused reconciliation? Could it be an injustice we did to someone? Why has God allowed us to be defeated? Ask the right question beginning with this one.
Not all bad situations are a result of God punishing us. Some bad occurrences like Job’s case are just temptations from the evil one. Ask yourself why God has allowed this temptation to come to you of all the people. When God allowed Satan to tempt Job, God was making a vote of confidence in Job. Could your current troubles be a vote of confidence from God? Could it be that God is so sure that no crisis will separate you from him? If that is why God has allowed all these terrible things to happen, isn’t it safe and wise to remain faithful, because in the end there is a better reward? Ask yourself why all this is happening. Ask the right question beginning with this one.
Why am I sickly? Why am I jobless? Why am I performing poorly in school? Why am I gullible to everyone who seems to love me? Why am I being rejected too frequently? Why am I broke too early in the month? Why am I living from hand to mouth? Why haven’t I ventured out to try something new? Why am I losing so many relatives? These are very important questions but first, ask yourself why God has allowed these to happen to you and around you. Ask the right question beginning with this one.
Were my plans realistic? Did anyone let me down? Did I forget important things because I don’t have a to-do list? Who betrayed me? Was the budget sufficient? Did any variables affect me? All these are important questions but we first ask if all is well spiritually, why has God allowed this? Ask the right question beginning with this one.
Ask all important questions and are record the answers you get. Of all important questions, ask why God has allowed you to go through this? Is it a punishment or a vote of confidence? Why has God allowed this to happen now? Ask the right question beginning with this one.
Dear God, remind us, give us the wisdom to ask the right questions, and arrive at the right answers for our earthly prosperity, eternal life, and your honor and glory in Jesus’ name, Amen!