Daily Riches: Thy Will Be … Changed! (Abraham Heschel, Philip Yancey)

“The refusal to accept the harshness of God’s ways in the name of his love was an authentic form of prayer. Indeed, the ancient Prophets of Israel were not in the habit of consenting to God’s harsh judgment and did not simply nod, saying, ‘Thy will be done.’ They often challenged him, as if to say, ‘Thy will be changed.’ They had often countered and even annulled divine decrees.’ … A man who lived by honesty could not be expected to suppress his anxiety when tormented by profound perplexity… There are some forms of suffering that a man must accept with love and bear in silence. There are other agonies to which he must say no.” Abraham Heschel

“Like Abraham, I approach God at first in fear and trembling, only to learn that God wants me to stop groveling and start arguing. I dare not meekly accept the state of the world, with all its injustice and unfairness. I must call God to account for God’s own promises, God’s own character. Robert Duvall’s movie The Apostle includes a scene in which Sonny, a preacher with a hot temper and a criminal record, stomps around in an upstairs room kicking furniture and yelling. A neighbor calls to complain about the noise: ‘Sounds like you have a madman over there.’ Sonny’s mom smiles and explains that’s just Sonny. ‘Ever since he’s been little-bitty boy my son’s been talking to the Lord. Sometimes he talks to the Lord and sometimes he yells at the Lord, and tonight he just happens to be yelling at the Lord.” Philip Yancey

“Alas, Sovereign Lord!
How completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem
by saying, ‘You will have peace,’
when the sword is at our throats!”
Jeremiah 4:10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you ever “meekly accepted the state of the world” because you thought it was what God wanted of you (“Thy will be done.”)?
  • Have you ever asked God hard questions about “the state of the world, with all its injustice and unfairness?”
  • Can you imagine yourself “yelling at the Lord” like Sonny? …”calling God to account?” …that at times the Lord might want you “to start arguing” with him?

Abba, give me courage within, and trust in you, to argue instead of nodding assent when things don’t seem right.

For More: The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

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