“For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was astonished … Matthew 8:9

There was an episode of the TV series, M*A*S*H, where the colonel sent Hawkeye away to attend to a Korean patient. Hawkeye objected because he felt there were more pressing medical concerns at the base.

The colonel ordered him to go. Later Hawkeye realized why the colonel had sent him and said, “Why didn’t you tell me?” The colonel replied, “Because when they make you a colonel, they take the bone out of your head that makes you explain orders.”

God also doesn’t have a bone in his head! When we rightly understand authority we realise that God is under no obligation to explain his actions or his lack of action. Often, because he wants to treat us as friends (John 15:15), he does let us know, but we shouldn’t act as though we have a right to know. In the verse above the words of a Roman centurion astonished Jesus. Here was a non-Jewish man who understood authority and rightly applied it to God.

God will always act in a way that is consistent with his character, so he doesn’t keep knowledge from us in order to frustrate us. He only keeps knowledge from us if it’s in our best interest, perhaps to encourage our faith or because he knows we can only handle so much information at one time (John 16:12).

We need to trust that God knows what he is doing whether he chooses to tell us or not.