A word from the Hebrew
1. unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall. 2. audacity; nerve. 3. shameless audacity; impudence.
The essence of “chutzpah” has been described as the man who murders his parents, and then throws himself on the court because he is now an orphan. (At least that is what I have heard.) Chutzpah is most often found when things seem unattainable. It is an intelligent response to things that are ugly and desperate, and yet somehow making them available. And it is typically and completely “out-of-hand.” It seems to step-up when things are bleak, and you make certain things negotiable again.
It’s like healing and deliverance are stored on the top-shelf. Chutzpah goes and comes back with a ladder. It simply will not be dissuaded or denied.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16, ESV
There is the special need for a definite form of chutzpah here. We “get close.” And then we push closer. And we are totally beyond our place and status. But all we can see, is the “mercy and grace.” So because we see such wonders, we audaciously step into His presence.
“So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.”
Heb. 10:19-21, MSG
I must admit, my preference is this– I just don’t like people with chutzpah. They seem arrogant, and I distrust arrogance. I don’t like it, and it is hard for me to see it as a virtue. But as I read the Word, I discover that the people of true faith seem very conceited. They swagger in, and will receive all (and more) of what they request (or demand.)
All of there behavior seems smug and superior to a sceptical heart. And yet I must reflect on all those in the Word who were outrageous, who stepped totally out-of-line. Jacob who wrestled. Moses who negotiated. Esther who persuaded. The adulterous woman who anointed. The leper who begged. There are quite a few others, we can find. They all were “cheeky” and dauntless.
What role does “chutzpah” have in our personal walk? Should we step out into this faith that is inherently susceptible to our incredible demands? It is outrageous that we should demand an entrance into the presence of the Most High. And then when we finally stand in this place, we insist on complete and total forgiveness. Now that, dear friends, is a chutzpah kind of arrogance!
If we should be “chutzpah-believers” we need to know the promises in the Bible. That alone will be the only place we can stand. Our faith must exclusively be based on what God has proclaimed in the Word. To come forward without a promise is very foolish.
In the Gospels we will find a blind man whose name was Bartimaeus. He steps up and clearly insists on a healing. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Jesus turns at this act of chutzpah. “What would you have Me do for you?” There is a profound audaciousness in his reply. “Heal me!”
As believers, sometimes we simply take the “humble route.” But if you want God, then you must step up, be bold and take what you need from Him. It seems that our Father insists we enter His presence quite “boldly.”
Over and over, we read of Bible characters who pronounced that boldness was an incredible virtue. But faith at its essence simply will not conform to any other definition. Faith insists that we be audacious and bold, way beyond any logic or reasoning. They might think we are quite outrageous, but we know that we are only being faithful.