Why? That one-word question has been asked by you, your brothers, your sisters, and all the children over the whole world. It has been the spring-board for countless lessons taught by your parents, teachers and ministers. And now I will ask you the same question: why is the first sentence I wrote true? And another: Why do all children ask such questions?
If your Gramps thinks back to his childhood he can hear some of those “why” questions, like: Why do we get milk from cows and not from horses or dogs? Why do the ants make holes in the ground for their homes? Why do birds gather twigs and fuzzy material for their nests? and, why in such different locations? Why do some flowers, like tulips, grow from bulbs, and other plants, like radishes, grow from seeds? Why do oak trees grow from acorns, and the huge cottonwood trees grow from tiny seeds that float on the slightest breeze? Why are cows so dumb, and foxes so smart? Why cannot we tell from an animal’s face how smart it is? An elephant looks dumb, but why is he so smart that he even seems to reason things out? Why do we have a stomach as large as our fist, and an angleworm is ALL stomach?
Solomon did not direct us to a lion which is big enough to have a big brain, but to the tiny ant with such a tiny brain, to learn wisdom from it. Why isn’t smartness according to size? Why does a robin hippity-hop in the lawn to find its food? Why does the hawk fly high in the sky to prey upon chickens, chipmunks and mice? Why do the bright stars all seem to keep their own places in the sky? And, why does that truth have any relation to the fact that apples fall from the tree? And, by the way, why do things never fall up?
That is about enough “whys”. I guess that you have asked many of those I have mentioned. But isn’t it terribly annoying when you ask so many questions of your parents when they answer with a single word, “because”? I think that is because we finally tire them with our persistent questioning. Like when we ask why cows give milk, and our Mother says that it is for their baby calves; and then we ask: then why do we also give it to human babies, and why do we drink a glass full of it at our meals, and why cannot some people drink it because it makes them ill? You see when we pile up questions upon every answer we get, our mother loses patience and says, “because”.
You notice that I have not given any answers to all the “why” questions I have asked. But now I am ready to ask a question which this letter is all about. Here is the question: “Why do all children, most grownups and all scientists ask questions?” I find the answer to that question in the Bible. In Genesis one verses twenty-six and twenty-seven God tells what kind of creatures He created after the creation of the animal kingdom. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God created He him, male and female created He them.”
That, boys and girls, is the answer to my question. But maybe I had better explain that a bit further. You see, in order to have dominion (that means rule) over them he had to learn all about those creatures. He must understand their make-up, he must know what they are good for, and how to make use of them. It was very important to understand every creature. But God also had said that man should have dominion over the earth. That would take a great amount of study! Just think that thousands of years would pass before man began to understand one of God’s creations: Gravity. At that it was a sort of stumbling upon the truth by a simple thing like an apple falling upon a man’s head. That apple’s fall started him asking several questions and he developed the theory we know quite well now, The Theory of Gravity. From that lowly starting point, he reached the understanding why the sun, the moon, and the stars all keep their correct orbits!
So God made man different from the animals. Man was a questioning, an inquisitive creature. Adam, before The Fall, understood his duty: to learn all he could about nature in order to learn more and more of God’s Nature. In earlier letters we have told you of God’s fingerprints in His Creation. Those prints were to be a study book for all mankind. After the Fall man did not fully realize his calling anymore. He did not realize that his study should always end in praise to the Creator. But man remained a questioning creature. So from then till now we are always questioning our parents and teachers about everything we see about us. Ungodly men, in their sinful way, have thought up many inventions based on the answers to their questions. But, sad to say, when they learn something new of God’s Creation they say, “Mother Nature does this, or that” and refuse to see God behind each new fact learned.
But we! We have been turned about from our old sinful nature and have become new creatures. Now we can see God’s fingerprints in all our studies in school. Our Study Book of Nature has been explained to us by God’s Study Book, The Bible. That is the reason we ask our parents, our teachers and our minister for answers to our repeated “whys”. They know the Bible forwards and backwards. They have the answers, they are wise. Did you notice in the title of my letter to you, that if you say, Whys, you say, wise. Now you know why our parents send us to the Christian School, to get answers from the Scriptures, to see the Glory and Greatness of Our God. That is why God created us: to praise and glorify His Holy Name! Psalm 150 leads us into that praise worship from the first verse, “Praise ye the Lord, praise Him in the sanctuary, praise Him in the firmament of His Power” to the last verse, “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.”
In my questioning old (1905 model) mind I still have many unanswered questions. But I have a very strong feeling that we will never stop asking questions into all eternity. You know, boys and girls, that after the fiery destruction of this world and the present heavens, God will make a New Heaven and a New Earth for us to dwell in. I believe that we will be busy learning and ever learning the works of God in that new creation. Just like the first earth could not be fully understood in our short life time, so the New Earth will be so wonderful that we can find something to contemplate all the time. I just used the word, “time” because I do not know what to call the passage of moments in the hereafter when time shall be no more. But I am sure we will never tire of learning more and more about God by learning from His Creation. And make no mistake about it. It will take an eternity to do just that!
I still have many unanswered questions about that eternal learning process. Will we need teachers in that kingdom? Who will they be? Former teachers or ministers? Angels, maybe? But this I know from the Scriptures, our Risen and Glorified Lord Jesus will be our teacher so that in His Face we shall see God. Do you understand what that means? I have yet many questions of that truth as to its fullest meaning. I hope that you will always ask questions, as I do.
Your inquisitive Gramps.