It is so easy to make the mistake of thinking that when we are asked a Bible question, we must immediately have an answer. Someone brings up a verse in a discussion and in order to save face we think we must have some “scholarly” comment to make. Such could not be farther from the truth. What then should we say?
We must be aware of two important facts. First, God has given us all things which even pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). The passage does not say that He has given us the bare necessities about our spiritual lives and godly living. He has given us everything that even pertains to these matters. This can be illustrated by realizing that the bare necessities for having a car (e.g. an engine, tires, steering wheel, transmission, etc.) may be few in number when compared to everything which might pertain to an automobile (e.g. air conditioning, stereo radio, GPS, sun visors, etc.). Our wonderful God has done far more than giving necessities!
The second thing we must remember is that God has not answered every frivolous matter which comes to our mind. Moses said it best in these words, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29). If God has not revealed a matter to us, even though we think it is of importance, it just does not pertain to life and godliness.
However, what do we do when realize there must be an answer to the question that has been asked or Bible verse that is being discussed and we simply do not know the answer? Here is the answer to every such question. “I do not know.” We lose no face with others who are sincere in their questions by admitting our ignorance. We can offer to study and find the answer, but the worst mistake we can make is “bluffing” and pretending scholarship.
This was so deeply impressed upon me last week while reading from a commentary. The author, E.M. Zerr, wrote: “verse 19-21. Another passage I do not understand. Hence I will not guess.” What honesty! Such cannot but help me realize he was wise enough to admit his ignorance. I now read his commentary with greater respect than ever before.
So if you want to have a ready answer for every Bible question you are ever asked, here it is. “I do not know and I will not guess.” Think about it!