Telling God What To Do (Psalms 78:19-20)

“God can do anything!”

“No! He can’t!”

“Can He make a knife so sharp that it can cut anything but it can’t cut itself?”

“No, because that statement does not make sense. God cannot contradict Himself!”

I was in college and my classmate was playing with words, using a nonsensical and illogical statement to prove that God did not exist. He was not the only one. Since that conversation, I have encountered many who love to play word games and utilize fuzzy logic to prove that God does not exist or is not the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Being that He is. 

The accusations do not stop there. Others may casually accept the idea of God but limit His abilities or doubt that He is in control of everything in the universe. A truly omnipotent God wouldn’t allow evil to exist, therefore He is not in control of everything. These arguments are not new. Thousands of years ago, the Bible recorded a sad incident when the Israelites were wandering the wilderness after God had rescued them from hundreds of years of slavery in Egypt. God struck the Egyptians with ten plagues forcing the Egyptian Pharaoh to initially allow them to leave. However, Pharoah reneged on his promise and pursued the Israelites. God protected the Israelites, miraculously leading them through the Red Sea which was parted and then caused the sea to swallow up the pursuing Egyptians. But all of these miracles were not enough! When later confronted with diminishing stores of water and food, their faith faltered and the Israelites complained and quickly forgot all that God had done for them. 

They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness. Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.” 

Psalms 78:19-20 (NLT)

It is easy to fault the Israelites but I need to stop and look in the mirror. Am I any different? God has exceedingly and abundantly blessed me but when trials and tribulations confront me, how quickly do I wither, forget His provisions, and question God if He will provide for me again? Instead of trusting God, I tell Him what to do. “God, you helped me before but you can’t save me from these colleagues who now slander me.” My complaints are no different than the Israelites and I should be ashamed.

Whether it is by intellectual word games or doubting God’s authority, when we question God and tell Him what to do, we create God in our image. Our faith will be weak if our God is a weak and capricious being, who does not keep His promises and is limited in His ability to minister to us. 

Thanks be to God that this is the antithesis of who He is.

Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. 

Hebrews 7:25 (NLT)

Jesus Christ is the exact representation of God. By placing our faith and trust in Him, we can break through the doubt and temptation to tell God what to do and learn to live the fulfilled life that He intended for all of us to live, to have God tell us what to do.


Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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