Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Phillips: our expectations of God

Wednesday, May 17, 2023
But [the Israelites] soon forgot what he had done
    and did not wait for his counsel.
In the desert they gave in to their craving;
    in the wasteland they put God to the test.
So he gave them what they asked for,
    but sent a wasting disease upon them.
    —Psalm 106:13-15 (NIV)
    From the crude cry which we have so often heard during the war years: “If there is a God, why doesn’t He stop Hitler?,” to the unspoken questioning in many a Christian heart when a devoted servant of Christ dies from accident or disease at what seems to us a most inopportune moment, there is this universal longing for God to intervene, to show His hand, to vindicate His purpose. I do not pretend to understand the ways of God any more than the next man; but it is surely more fitting as well as more sensible for us to study what God does do and what He does not do as He works in and through the complex fabric of this disintegrated world, than to postulate what we think God ought to do and then feel demoralized and bitterly disappointed because He fails to fulfill what we expect of Him.
    ... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Making Men Whole, London: Highway Press, 1952, p. 33 (see the book)
    See also Ps. 106:13-15; 3:1-3; Lam. 3:33; Rom. 8:18; 2 Tim. 3:12
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, help me to receive You as You truly are.
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