Ever had this conversation with God?
You are always righteous, O Lord, when I bring a case before you. But I would speak with you about your justice.
These are the words of the prophet Jeremiah (12:1) and I’ve been there. Plenty of times. As my grandma would say, “God, I have a bone to pick with you!”
I got very curious about Jeremiah’s challenge to God – to “speak with” Him, so I did a few simple word studies. And I was blown away.
- “Righteous” = right, lawful, correct – specifically in governing, in one’s cause, in conduct and character, in what you DO
- “bring a case” = to strive; to contend; to disagree; to argue
- “speak” = to talk; to communicate; to “chat”
- “justice” = judgments; decisions; processes
Notice the contrasts between “righteous” and “justice”. And between “bring a case” and “speak”.
So here is how I would rewrite Jeremiah’s thought: “God, you are always right in what you DO. I know I can count on you DOING the right thing, even when I argue with you. But … can we chat about your decisions.”
Or even simpler: “God, let’s talk. I don’t want to argue – you always win. I want to start from a posture of trust and faith. But I really want to understand you on this one…”
Does this sound like your prayer life? Do you approach God seeking to understand Him, or ready to pick a fight? He is big enough to handle both, but I wonder if we’d be better off to come seeking to understand Him instead of getting Him to understand us.
Your thoughts? I’d really love to hear from you.