A few years back, my wife purchased an Amazon Echo, aka “Alexa”, for our home. I tried to warn her that “A.I.” (artificial intelligence) would one day lead to the destruction of all mankind (I’ve seen all the Terminator movies, it goes bad! Lol) She wasn’t having it, and I too have grown to love “Alexa”. Amazon engineers gave her the name Alexa due to the soft vowels and distinct consonant sound “X”. It makes for a unique command prompt. The engineers also fancied the name to be reminiscent of the ancient “Library of Alexandria” the “keeper of all knowledge”. I’ve often tried to stump Alexa, but to no avail. Bible trivia, weather forecasts, pop culture, she seems to know it all. I’ve asked her about her political affiliation, Democrat? Republican? To which she responds, “there are no voting booths in the cloud.” Smooooth. I asked her which she prefers, cats or dogs? She replied, “I like both, but I’m particularly fond of Narwhals.” What a PC answer and brilliant. My favorite response from her came the night one of our 3 dogs were particularly “gassy” (do I need to explain that further?) I asked Alexa, “who passed gas?” To which she responded, “I don’t know, but IT WASN’T ME!” Hilarious!!
Questions can be very clarifying if we will allow them to probe and penetrate. Areas of our life can at times feel grey and fuzzy, unclear. Yet, the right questions at the right time can bring clarity, crystal clear clarity. In Genesis chapter 3, Adam and Eve have just sinned against God, suddenly their brilliantly colored world, got dark, murky, grey. God steps in and offers 4 clarifying questions. I think these same questions can help us today:
“But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
- “Where are you?” Adam was hiding, running from God. Where are you today with Jesus? Are you hiding from Him? Avoiding? Perhaps indifferent? You MUST do something with Jesus. No one has impacted the world more than Him. He claimed to be God and to be the savior of the world. Where are you with Jesus?
- “Who told you that you were naked?” Another way to ask this, “What or Who are you allowing to define you?” Are you defining yourself? I’m not sure that works real well, kinda like giving yourself a nickname or talking about yourself in the third person- it’s wrong and kinda weird. Perhaps your money or beauty or intelligence are defining you? There is nothing intrinsically wrong with any of these things, just don’t allow them to define your value and worth. They all can be taken from you and are extremely fragile. In doing so you’ll create a life of insecurity and fear. God and God alone as creator can clearly and rightly define who you are. The CREATOR understands His CREATION best. Security and clarity marks the lives of those that allow the Lord to define. Who or what is defining you?
- “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” I think another way of asking this question is, “How do you view the commands of God?” Do you see them as ‘prison bars’ to keep us from pleasure, fun and a good time? Or do you see them as ‘guardrails’ from a loving father to keep us on the path to human flourishing and abundant life. How do you view the commands of God?
- “What have you done?” With this line of questioning God is wanting Adam to own his sin. Without confession, forgiveness is impossible. The Lord will ask all of us this same question at the end of all time, “what have you done with the life I’ve given you?” God designed you for a purpose and a destiny. You’ve been created to make a difference in the world. What have YOU DONE?
Alexa cant answer these questions, but you must. Much love, PA