COVID-19 / immigration

God’s Questions

By Elket Rodríguez

Have you ever been in one of those situations where you know that someone is talking to you, but is not doing it directly to you. I’m talking about that annoying moment when you feel like the transmitter of the message is not trusting your emotional ability to receive the message directly.

For example, when your spouse tells you, “honey, I wonder if someone can help us pick those shoes from the living room and put them back in the closet.” Or when your mom tells you, “my kids have forgotten about me,” and you are the only child. Yes. I’m talking about that annoying moment.

Even worse is when the transmitter uses irony or sarcasm to get the message through. I know what that is like. You start wondering why they never said it to you directly.

Well, that was Isaiah’s case in chapter 6 (not that there was ever a chapter six when he wrote the book). He had a vision where he was in the presence of the Lord accompanied by the seraphim, and live coal touched his mouth. Suddenly, the Lord said “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? (Isaiah 6:8).

Have you ever wondered why God asked Isaiah that question. There is no other human present during that vision. Then, Isaiah answered, “Here am I; send me”  (Isaiah 6:8). Can anybody ask Isaiah if he could have given another answer. Why did God ask the question in the first place? Did he notice that this was a vision directly given to Isaiah?

Well, the answer is simple: our God likes to ask questions to see the response from our hearts. Our God is a God of questions. Jesus is the Answer. Have you ever noticed how their questions deal directly with our wicked, self-righteous and twisted heart?

Let’s be clear, this is not the first time God asked questions that He knew the answers to during personal conversations. He asked Cain where his brother was. (Genesis 4.9). He asked Moses what he had in his hands. (Exodus 4.2). He asked Jonah if He shouldn’t care about the people and creatures He made. (Jonah 4:11).

There is a common denominator in all of these stories, our God was concerned with the people. He wanted Isaiah to prophesy, Cain to repent for his brother’s death, Moses to use what he had available to save His people and Jonah to understand the measure of His love and mercy.

I think that all of these are questions God can ask us in this times to help the most vulnerable among us.

Where is your bother?

Shouldn’t I care about my creatures?

What is that in your hand?

Who will I send?

As we’ve mentioned before, undocumented immigrants are among the most vulnerable among us. All across the country they are being laid off and they will not receive a stimulus check. They are at the mercy of others who can help them weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can be the one that God is sending to help that brother who God cares so deeply about. Help them with whatever you have. It may not seem much, but it may help a family live for one day.

If not, go to Jesus then. I know he has more questions to ask you.

Who is your neighbor? (Luke 10:36).

Have you anything here to eat? (Luke 24:41).

How many loaves do you have? (Matt 15:34).

Where can we buy enough food for them to eat? (John 6:5).

Looking at the Bible I don’t see the need for us to have a vision or a supernatural experience like Isaiah had. The only question needed for you to answer is, are you able to receive the message directly or would God have to resort to indirect language to make you aware of the need to serve the least of these?

There is nothing more important today than helping the most vulnerable during this pandemic. Like Jesus said the disciples when they were discussing that there was a lack of bread, do you not yet understand? (Mark 8:19).

Elket Rodríguez is an attorney and minister, and serves as the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s immigrant and refugee specialist. He lives on the U.S.-Mexico border, in Harlingen, Texas, and works with CBF Advocacy, CBF Global Missions and Fellowship Southwest.

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