Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
With each passing year, the likelihood that people will know about the 1960s TV show Let’s Make a Deal decreases. A game show pioneer, host Monty Hall would offer guests the opportunity to make money, win prizes, etc. by making them deals along the way.
The premise was simple. A contestant would start by doing something very simple for a little reward. Once they had that reward, Monty would offer them the chance to keep it or to trade it in for some mystery prize, knowing that the mystery could be a better deal or a worse deal. As a result, a contestant who had just won a hundred dollars could trade that in for what was hiding under a box in front of them or what was behind a drawn curtain.
A phrase from the TV show commonly heard today as a euphemism is “Let’s see what’s behind door number two, Alex!”
I reminisced about this show this morning as I flipped through the pages of Ecclesiastes. In the verse above, God says that He has placed eternity in our hearts but even so, we will never find out the fullness of what God has done and created.
That means we have been created as beings who are not intended to know everything. Even as we transition from this life to the life that is to come, we will never see all there is to know.
Yet, that does not stop us from trying. We are naturally curious creatures, and if there is a question to be asked, there is a person willing to chase the answer to the ends of the universe.
This curious condition arose right from the beginning. God intentionally created a tree called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, placed it square in the garden where Adam and Eve lived, and then told them not to eat from it.
So, here’s the $64,000 question: Why would He do that? Why would He create humans as curious creatures, then forbid them from eating of a tree that promises knowledge of good and evil?
Don’t lose sight of the original premise here either. We were created as beings with limited knowledge. And even with eternity in our heart, we will never know all there is to know…by design.
I see the actions of humans all throughout the Bible and God’s response to them. Humans build a tower to go to heaven. God confuses their language. Solomon uses God-given wisdom to live out every hedonistic pleasure, only to conclude it’s all folly.
This is the only answer I can glean from all this: God wants us to know that our satisfaction comes not in the pursuit of knowledge but in trusting Him in the absence of knowledge.
Can we be okay with not knowing the true age of the earth? Or the eternal destiny of those who passed before us? Or the day and time Christ will return? Or the names of the two witnesses in Revelation 11? Or whether our pets will join us in heaven? Is God inside or outside the realm of time? Or is there a realm of time?
This list of questions never ends. And often, we feverishly want answers. We rush to embrace answers in the absence of knowledge. We take up argumentative positions on them. We split churches and set up new denominations because of these answers. Occasionally, we have executed other believers in the name of heresy driven by these answers.
But God wants us to be cool with this statement: “I don’t know, but God does, and I trust Him.”
As it turns out, that response is very hard when the questions relate to significant evil in our world or the unexpected loss of a loved one. Now we want to know why. And it is in these moments that our trust of God in the absence of knowledge is taken to its limit.
But getting us to trust Him is God’s primary goal. We were created for a father-child relationship with Him and that requires us being cool with not always knowing the answers to things. At the end of Ecclesiastes, the author writes, “Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.” The apostle Paul also writes, “All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”
So, don’t choose what’s behind door number 2. Trust the reward of God you already have in hand.