Why God Makes Understanding Difficult
Jonathan Edwards, from Miscellanies #139:
I am convinced that there are many things in religion and the Scriptures that are made difficult on purpose to try men, and to exercise their faith and scrutiny, and to hinder the proud and self-sufficient.
John Piper addresses this same issue, speaking particularly about difficulties we encounter in Scripture, in his sermon, "Why God Inspired Hard Texts." He says God has given us hard texts to prompt at least four things, which seem to match well with Edwards' thoughts above:
- Desperation - A sense of utter dependence on God's enablement.
- Supplication - Prayer to God for help.
- Cogitation - Thinking hard about biblical texts.
- Education - Training young people and adults to pray earnestly, read well, and think hard.