The Value of Asking Questions

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5).

Here is what some have said of this passage:

(1)  Adam Clark – “Men of the deepest and most comprehensive minds are rarely apt, unsolicited, to join in any discourse in which they might appear even to the greatest advantage; but a man of understanding will elicit this, by questions framed for the purpose, and this pump up the salubrious waters from the deep and capacious well.”

(2)  Matthew Henry – “A man’s wisdom is here said to be of use to him for the pumping of other people… to get knowledge of them… some are very able and fit to give counsel… but they are modest, and reserved, and not communicative; they have a good deal in them, but it is loth to come out.  In such a case a man of understanding will draw it out… we lose the benefit we might have by the conversion of wise men for want of the art of being inquisitive.”

(3)  Albert Barnes – “Every question is, as it were, a turning of the windlass.”

Will Rogers once said, “Everyone is ignorant (of something).  We are just ignorant of different things.”  The most knowledgeable of humans, no doubt, know only a small fraction of the sum total of human knowledge.  The point is: There is a vast wealth of wisdom and knowledge in the people around us.  A wise person asks questions.  He seeks to learn.

The disciples and others asked Jesus many spiritual questions (e.g. Mark 4:10; 7:17; 10:10; 10:17; 12:28; 13:3-4).  The apostles were asked spiritual questions (e.g. Acts 2:37; 16:30; 1 Corinthians 7:1a).  Do you care enough about spiritual matters to ask questions?

My advice is two-fold:  First, never stop asking questions.  Ask questions to self as you read.  Ask questions to others.  An inquisitive mind is a helpful thing in preventing stagnation in Biblical knowledge.  Second, test all answers with God’s word (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21).  Remember that, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).  Scripture and doctrine must harmonize.  Thomas Warren points out – “Any doctrine which implies a fake doctrine is itself a false doctrine” (Warren, Logic and the Bible, p. 68).

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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