When the Bible Doesn’t Help You

Sometimes we have to make decisions about which the Bible does not speak.

We have to choose what college to go to, where to live, whether or not to have another child, etc., etc., etc.

These specific situations are not spelled out for us in the Bible.  There is no verse to which we can look for black and white answers to most of life’s decisions.

What do we do then?  How are we to make wise choices when it’s not often clear to us whether one option is better than the other?

Moses had this problem once upon a time.  The Israelites had been roaming around the desert for over a year since leaving Egypt.  The Lord was giving Moses specific instructions for proper worship, and the Israelites were responding beautifully.  For once, they were obeying well, doing everything “just as the Lord commanded Moses” (Numbers 9:5).

In Numbers 9:1-2, “The Lord spoke to Moses…’Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time.'”

Most of the Israelites did so in obedience.  But there was one group that had a problem, “…some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body” (Numbers 9:6).

The Israelites knew that cleanliness was important to the Lord.  They knew it was particularly important during worship.  They wanted to participate in Passover, obeying the Lord, but they didn’t want to do it in the wrong way.  They were worried.

Nowhere in the Law was there a prescription for what to do when the Lord commands you to celebrate the Passover, but you’re unclean.

Confused, the men went to Moses and Aaron and asked them what to do.  Moses answered them, “Wait until I find out what the Lord commands concerning you” (Numbers 9:6-8).


Unlike many of Israel’s other leaders, Moses doesn’t make the decision himself.  He doesn’t rely on his common sense, his intelligence, or his authority as Israel’s leader.  Instead, he prays!  When he doesn’t know what to do, Moses asks God.

And you know what happens next?



God gives a very specific direction to Moses concerning the unclean Israelites (Numbers 9:9-10).  They didn’t have to guess what the Lord would have them do.  They didn’t have to hope they guessed right.  They didn’t have to take matters into their own hands.  All they had to do when they were unsure was ask God for direction.  And He was faithful to answer.

I know it often doesn’t seem that easy in our lives.  We feel like we ask Him about our unclear decisions, but God doesn’t seem to answer.  But I want to challenge myself (and you) to believe that He will answer, even if He doesn’t seem to right away.  He was faithful to answer Israel, and He is faithful to answer us, some way, some how.


One thought on “When the Bible Doesn’t Help You

  1. In the words of Fox Mulder, “I want to believe.” I have experienced His answers at times and at times it seems I haven’t, but I don’t base my confidence in God on whether He answers every time. There are times when He might want me to use what other knowledge of His will that I have about the issue. There are probably times when I rush ahead instead of waiting to listen. Thankfully, He is gracious and gives me many second, third and more chances.

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