“Could it be that you need to review your approach in questioning/requesting for something?” This question sounds familiar, at least, to me. My husband asks me (not so often though) usually when I have asked him to do something and he responds in such an unexpected manner. If I had asked appropriately, I would have gotten my desired result. I guess there in no smoke without fire – it is no brainer right?
Interestingly, I saw this concept manifested in the lives of three men, Habakkuk, Job and David, in their time of despair.
Habakkuk was a prophet during the time of injustice committed by the Babylonian government/Chaldeans. Apparently, the Chaldeans had captured the Israelites at that time (a feat permitted by God because Israel had strayed away from Him). Here was Habakkuk making demands as to why God could not save the Israelites. The tone of the enquiry was very harsh and demanding. Though God reminded him that it was a prophecy that had to be fulfilled. Yet, Habakkuk was relentless in His demands. By the time God answered all his demands, he felt humiliated. Habakkuk said, “I have heard thy speech and I am afraid”.
Job is a classic example. A man God acknowledged as righteous and who lost his possessions in succession without any apparent reason. I imagine he was forlorn of comfort! His three friends came around to commiserate with him and they had various types of conversation. Job made various remarks, questioned God and demanded for answers. At some point, one of the friends got annoyed with him because he justified himself rather than God. God replied Job by initially asking him, “who is this person talking as if he had no knowledge”. A rather humiliating question for Job. Job replied, “I am speechless, in awe – words fail me. I should never have opened my mouth. I have been a talkative”.
David was a King in Israel and also a psalmist. He and his troop were known to win battles. On this occasion, they were returning home from a battle to realise that their enemies had invaded them. These enemies took all their possession and captured their relatives. It is recorded that David and his men wept until they were exhausted. Afterwords, David consulted with God seeking for direction, “what should I do”. The tone of the conversation here is similar to gentleness and humility. And God replied in the same manner, “pursue them and your victory is assured”.
Next time you receive an unexpected reply (harsh tone or unexpected body language) from someone, review your approach.
References: Books of Habakkuk, Job, 1 Samuel