What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray to him?
Men in general are not sufficiently aware of the importance of the manner of asking questions. Of so much importance is the manner, that we could cite good questions as evidences of bad men. For instance, Pharaoh's question, "Who is the Lord that I should obey Him?" Now, in itself nothing could be more reasonable than this question. Pharaoh was a heathen, and this is just the question that a missionary would wish a heathen to ask. There was the question asked by Pilate, "What is truth?" A proper question, but always cited as a proof of the culpably indifferent state of his mind; for we are told that he did not wait for a reply. The question in our text is a reasonable inquiry, but it is here a part of a speech of the most wicked of mankind. We can suppose it asked in various manners.
1. In a trifling, impertinent manner.
2. In an unbelieving manner.
3. In a spirit of utter impiety.
4. As a grave and proper inquiry.
1. In a trifling manner; just as if a man should say, "Don't trouble me! What you say may be very true; but at present I feel no concern about it."
2. In a spirit of unbelief, not exactly that of an atheist.
3. In a spirit of daring impiety. There are spirits that can turn full on the Almighty with a frown of dislike, and can turn away from all appeals to their consciences respecting the claims of God, and the glory of Christ.
4. But we suppose this question asked in great simplicity. "Tell us (we might say to the inquirer), have you been long making this inquiry? How long? If only lately, it is very wonderful. How has it happened that you have deferred it so long? How did it not come among your first inquiries?" Let those persons who have not made the inquiry, think how strange it is that they have neglected it, while God has sustained them every moment till now, amidst all the manifestations of mercy.
Parallel VersesKJV: What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?