When We Don’t Know

“The seed sprouts and grows — how, he himself does not know.” (Mark 4:27)

Jesus relates a parable here in Mark 4, of how a man sows seed, and a plant comes up as a result, although the man himself does not know why.  This verse should help us to trust God in times when our knowledge is lacking: 

First, Greek scholars tell us that the word “himself” is emphasizd here; the man “himself” does not know how the sowing of the seed ends up as producing plants.  But that does not mean that Someone does not know!  This reminds us that there are things which are beyond our knowledge; that we do not understand.  There are things that appear random or without purpose. But just because WE OURSELVES do not understand it, does not mean that God does not. He does know those things which are beyond us. He knows the reasons for things which appear “random” or without purpose to us.

This calls for a couple of responses from us.  The first is just the basic truth that we need to trust God. When we can’t make sense out of something, or understand how or why something happens, we should just trust Him. Just because we don’t understand it, doesn’t mean that HE does not!

Second, we may not totally understand some things that God commands us to do — but our job is not to understand them, but to obey them! The sower may not know WHY or HOW the plants grow, but his job is to SOW regardless! We should be the same way. When God’s word commands something, we are to obey it, whether we understand it or not.

If this all sounds a bit too much like Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade” (“theirs is not to reason why, theirs is but to do or die”), we can take comfort in the fact that unlike the leaders who gave the foolish orders to that ill-fated group, God is all-knowing, all-wise, and all-loving. He doesn’t make mistakes. So when He gives us a command, we can obey it, whether we understand it or not, because we know it is good and wise.  When we don’t know, we need to remember that HE DOES — and put our trust in our Heavenly Father.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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1 Response to When We Don’t Know

  1. Lynda Rich says:

    Thank you, Pastor Shawn, for this message this morning! Your timing was perfect for me. I started reading a new book last night What’s So Great About God. From the synopsis of this book online, the author Dinesh D’souza is defending God’s actions in the Old Testament when entire societies were killed by the Isrealites, or today when thousands are killed in violent earthquakes. Some of the same questions I’ve heard and asked myself. After reading a few pages, jumping around in the book, I threw it in the trash because he seemed to be defending the unbelievers’ views more so than lifting up God.. I went to bed feeling guilty for reading even the pages I read. Your blog really spoke to my heart. God is great and greatly to be praised!

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