Your laws are always right; help me to understand them so I may live.Psalm 119:144 (NLT)
I was having a discussion with the students in my high school bible class some time ago about parenting. We were supposed to be talking about prophecy, but I got sidetracked. I’m sanguine, it happens. But I digress. I shared a story with them about one of my biggest pet peeves growing up – when my parents would say “Because I told you so.” Generally, they said this when I questioned why they were making me do something. I hated when they said that. After all, if they couldn’t give me a good reason why I should do it, then perhaps they were mistaken and I could enlighten them. I resolved early on as a child that, when I had my own kids, I would never use that phrase.
Fast forward with me now to the year 2021. I have a 17 year-old son and a 13 year-old daughter. I catch myself using that phrase fairly regularly. Why? Because sometimes trying to rationalize with a child doesn’t work. They don’t see things from the viewpoint of a parent. They don’t have the decades of additional wisdom that the parent has gained through trials, pains, and victories. They can’t possibly fully understand what it means to be an adult parent because, well, they haven’t been one.
Now, take that last sentence and apply it to God. He is our Parent, our Father. Sometimes, He asks us to do certain things. Some of those things He has written down for us, like the 10 Commandments (found in Exodus 20, BTW), or other commands sprinkled throughout the scriptures. Other times, He uses the Holy Spirit to direct us through our thoughts and actions. Either way, it is our Holy Parent asking us to do something – often times things we don’t want to do.
Here’s the deal. We can’t fully understand why He is asking us to do those things. Why? Because we’ve never been a Holy Parent. We’re not God. We don’t have the eternal wisdom that He has. We can’t see the future and know with 100 percent certainty what is going to happen. We can’t see every possible scenario for every situation in life. So, we can’t often understand why God commands us to do certain things.
Therefore, when we ask, we must be OK when He answers, “Because I told you to.”