By Serenity Beaumont, Spiritual Life Junior Division Head
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
It’s almost hard to believe that, as definite and concrete the Bible is in its information, it possesses a large number of questions that, if answered, could ultimately shake the reliability of the Bible and our faith as Christians. Scholars believe that there are about 3,300 questions in the Bible, which is a lot. Out of 1,189 chapters in the Bible filled with 66 books with over a thousand words in each, a significant amount of text is questions. This just goes to show that even those who have wisdom and righteousness are still confused about the wonders of God, and they still need direction from Him.
One of the most prominent books in the Bible full of questions is Job. This is an incredibly confusing book for any Christian to read. Yet at the same time, it is profound as well. This whole book journeys through the life of one of God’s most faithful believers in the Old Testament, who God allowed to be tortured by the enemy. This resulted in Job’s house, family, and friends all passing away. Job even questioned his own birth when he said, “why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?” (Job 2:11). Yet through all of this, his faith remained unwavering. However, while Job was experiencing all this turmoil and tragedy, he was confused. As one of God’s faithful followers, why would God leave him? Why couldn’t he see God? Where did he go? Job had questions.
In Elie Wiesel’s Night, a grim memoir of the Holocaust, he writes of one moment when he and many other prisoners witnessed the publicized death of three people. Among these people was a young boy. After the chairs were tipped from under their feet and the nooses around their necks tightened, Wiesel remembers one man saying behind him, “Where is God?” Elie replies, “He is hanging upon the gallows” (Wiesel 211). Elie has questions in the face of this suffering.
These questions haunt us today, especially concerning death. Even Job and Weisel, devoted religious followers, struggled with this. There is an overarching theme of the seemingly constant absence of God in tragedy. Why can we not see God in the middle of tragedy? Why is He not there?
Psalm 23 tells us that God is there even if we cannot see him. We should instead reflect on the question, how or why would God be present in such a time of death and pain? God is always there; we just cannot recognize His presence amongst the shadows of death. God will always be with His people to comfort and console us. This is a promise that is reflected in Psalm 23. I encourage you all to read and reflect upon this Psalms for it truly reflects the nature of God and what He will for His children.