Hunkered Down Devotion

Luke 18:1-8 (Voice)
He told them a parable, urging them to keep praying and never grow discouraged. The parable went like this:
Jesus: 2 There was a judge living in a certain city. He showed no respect for God or humanity. 3 In that same city there was a widow. Again and again she kept coming to him seeking justice: “Clear my name from my adversary’s false accusations!” 4 He paid no attention to her request for a while, but then he said to himself, “I don’t care about what God thinks of me, much less what any mere human thinks. 5 But this widow is driving me crazy. She’s never going to quit coming to see me unless I hear her case and provide her legal protection.”
6 Did you catch what this self-assured judge said? 7 If he can be moved to act justly, won’t God bring justice for His chosen people when they cry to Him day and night? Will He be slow to bring them justice? 8 Mark My words: God will intervene fast with vindication. But here’s the question: when the Son of Man comes, will He find anyone who still has faith?

Something about this passage just makes me a bit queasy.   Even though I understand the analogy is for effect, it makes me uncomfortable for God to be compared to the ‘unjust’ or ‘self-assured’ judge.  I don’t know about how you feel, but it just doesn’t quite feel right to have God portrayed as the distant, unjust, kind-of-a-jerk, judge.  This isn’t who we know God to be.  

At the same time, this is exactly the point that Jesus is making.  This judge, who we are told doesn’t care about the people he sees or the responsibility he has taken on to work for those people.  Our translation calls him ‘self-assured’, which might not seem like a bad thing.  And, of course, in and of itself it isn’t, but as always context is important.  And here, the opposite of this kind of ‘self-assurance is what we often refer to as ‘God-fearing’.   Not only did this judge not care about other people or his job, he had no interest in his relationship to God.

The point that Jesus is making is that if even this man, who’s only concern is self-interest, can eventually be moved towards action and justice, how much more will God be quick to move to bring vindication and justice.  If the unjust and self-assured judge can be moved to act, how much more quickly will the God of love and justice be to come to our aid when we need love, grace, compassion, and justice.  The message for us this day is to persevere in hope and faith, trusting in God’s faithful care for us, today, tomorrow, and always.

Sharing God’s Love,

Prayer: Lord, help us to continue to trust in you and call out to you.  Amen.

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