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Monday, July 23, 2012

The Widow & the Judge

Luke 18:1-8
1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, Give me justice against my adversary. 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

Take notice in verse one.  There are a few key words you need to see.  This parable is given for a reason.  Jesus tells us this parable to keep us praying.  He tells us this parable so that we do not lose heart.  In those statements are things we need to see.  If we are to always be praying, that means that there will be times, beloved, that we will stop.  If he tells us this so that we do not lose heart, there will be times when we lost heart.  If right now you have lost heart and are not praying, this parable is for you.
Let us take a look now at who the players in this parable are.  There are three.  It might take a moment but look carefully.  There is the judge, the woman, and her adversary.  In this case we are told that the judge dose not fear God or man.  So this is a judge who sits and judges as he sees fit.  This s a judge who thinks he is the law.  He fears no one, nor dose he respect anyone.   He dose not have to answer to anyone.  He is strong and will make judgement based on his will and his will alone.  He will not be told how to judge.  He dose not care about this widow.
The widow is the least of society.  She is weak.  She no longer has the protection of her husband.  In fact often times you find that a widow in this society had no rights to her husbands estate.  So this is a woman whose only hope is the judge.  He is the only one who can take care of this problem.
Then we have the adversary.  We do not know much about what this widows problem with the adversary is.  We only know that there is a problem.  This adversary is causing problems.  Problems that justice must deal with.  But there is a problem.  We have an unjust judge.  So if anything there are two people who are adversaries to this women.  The judge and the actual adversary themselves.  What is this woman to do?
In verse 3 we see what this woman dose.  She keeps coming to the judge.  She keeps asking.  She keeps pleading for justice to be done.  She is a woman who wants her case to be know.  She keeps pleading.  Why?  To make her case know.  To get justice.  She knows that she has been wronged.  She knows that if the case is heard many times that the judge will give her justice.
In verses 4-5 we see that the judge finally acts.  He acts not out of kindness and love but out of selfish motives.  He acts because he is bothered and beat down.  He acts because he has been shamed.  Others have seen this widow time and time again.  Perhaps this judges reputation is now at stake and he must act.  Perhaps his friends are asking when he will take care of this woman.  Perhaps he was just tired.  But he finally acts.  But the act is still one that is not done because of justice, but because of selfish motive.
Now we get to the good stuff.  We have seen how a judge who cares not for justice acts, lets take a look at how our God who loves justice acts.  In verses 6-8 we see God’s elect crying out for justice.  They are crying out day and night.  Now I’m convinced that these are not prayers of want and need.  These are not prayers about about health and wealth.  These are not prayers about things.  These are cries.  These are struggles.  These are matters of justice.  These are prayers dealing with how others have treated us.  These are where we have been wrong and have lost our rights and been mistreated.  These are prayers where we need a judge to take care of the adversary.
I would also think that these are prayers of struggles.  Where do we face an adversary?  In our sins.  In our struggles against the great adversary.  This is when we need our judge to act.
It’s interesting to note that the prayers here are cries.  They are cries that go out day and night.  Do you see that?  Day and Night!  They do not end.  Are our prayers like this?  That is how broken God wants us.  He wants us crying out to him.  He wants us to not stop.  We must be crying out day and night.  This is what he wants.  He wants a people who desire his justice and look to him and him alone for it.
But back to justice.  What makes our God give justice?  Is it that he tires of us?  Is it that his reputation is on the line?  No...It is something much better than that.  It is something that we can place far more hope in.  Our God judges because justice is part of who he is.  He loves justice.  It is part of who he is.  So he acts not out of want or desire, he acts out of character.  His justice flows out of his very nature.  And what a great hope that is.  What a great hope we have in God’s justice.
But he ends this with a word of caution.  He ends with a question.  Notice what he asks at the end of verse 8.  He ask will the Son of Man find faith.  And beloved, we need to be asking ourselves this same question.  Will he find faith in you?  Do you believe that God justice will come?  Do you trust his judgement?  Will the Son of Man find faith?
This parable is given to those of you who might be struggling in faith.  Are you?  Don’t lose hope, keep praying.  Do you doubt?  Look at what a unjust judge dose.  We have a just judge.  Don’t lose heart.  God will judge.  There in no question about that.  The question is what will the judgement on you be?  Have faith.  Pray without ceasing.  God will give justice to his people.

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