Daily Riches: Make Room for Cursing Saints (Miroslav Volf and Philip Yancey)

“For the followers of the crucified Messiah, the main message of the imprecatory Psalms is this: rage belongs before God – not in the reflectively managed and manicured form of a confession, but as a pre-reflective outburst from the depths of the soul. This is no mere cathartic discharge of pent up aggression before the Almighty who ought to care. Much more significantly, by placing unattended rage before God we place both our unjust enemy and our own vengeful self face to face with a God who loves and does justice. Hidden in the dark chambers of our hearts and nourished by the system of darkness, hate grows and seeks to infest everything with its hellish will to exclusion. In the light of the justice and love of God, however, hate recedes and the seed is planted for the miracle of forgiveness.” Miroslav Volf

“I see the cursing psalms as an important model for how to deal with evil and injustice. I should not try to suppress my reaction of horror and outrage at evil. Nor should I try to take justice in my own hands. Rather, I should deliver those feelings, stripped bare, to God. As the books of Job, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk clearly show, God has a high threshold of tolerance for what is appropriate to say in a prayer. God can ‘handle’ my unsuppressed rage. I may well find that my vindictive feelings need God’s correction – but only by taking those feelings to God will I have that opportunity for correction and healing.” Philip Yancey

“Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.
Happy is the one who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.”
Psalm 137:8,9

“Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord …
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart …
See if there is any offensive way in me….
Psalm 139:21-24

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you feel free to bring your “unsuppressed rage” to God? your “pre-reflective outburst?”
  • What good could possibly come from that?
  • How could failing to bring it actually be a bad thing?

Abba, help me to trust that you’re able to handle my rage, and teach me to bring it.

For More: Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf

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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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