Prayer and Justice Part 2

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Luke 18 v 8 “I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

The idea of Christians praying to God for vengeance upon their enemies does not sit well with some people. However there is nothing essentially wrong with vengeance or justice being metered out upon the perpetrators of persecution, provided it comes from God alone. If it were left to us it would quickly get out of control. Justice, left in the hands of fallen human beings, quickly becomes personal vengeance. Thus God reserves justice for himself to exercise in due time.

However the problem for most of us is not that Christians should cry to God for justice, but rather why He so often remains silent and appears to do nothing until in the end Christians are tempted to think that there is no more use in appealing to God. It often seems to those who suffer that either God does not really hear them, or else He does not really care.

What Jesus does in this passage, is insist that God’s children should never give up praying but persist in calling upon Him. Why this insistence? Well for Christians to cease calling upon God is to call in question the very character of God. Think of it this way. The judge in the parable was a wicked and unprincipled man. He cared neither for God, or people. Such people in places of authority are common enough for all, to identify with the story. But here’s the thing. Even this unprincipled man, who cared nothing for people, eventually gave in to this widow’s persistent pleading. His motives were wrong, but that is not the point of the parable. Jesus deliberately told the story in this way so that we could make a contrast between the judge in the parable and the true Judge of all people.

If we stop praying to God, because we see no answer to our prayers, we make him out to be more unfeeling, and more unjust than the unjust judge himself. It would be a calamity for our Christian witness to imply that the one true God, whom Christians say they worship, turns out to be more indifferent to justice and more unfeeling to people, than the other gods people say they believe in. Would there then be any reasonable hope for a coming reign of justice on earth, in which we can place our confidence?

But Jesus says, God will indeed avenge His chosen ones. That is what you are if you are a Christian – a chosen one. Jesus is very emphatic about God’s final and ultimate intervention. “I tell you” (v8). Indicates that His character of truthfulness is based on his word that there will be a true day of reckoning.

God will eventually intervene when Christ returns and all evil is put down. But when he does so, will he find faith on the earth, or will His chosen ones have given up? How would they explain to Him why they doubled His character by ceasing to pray?

Don’t give up. Keep on praying. By doing so you show your undying belief in the fact that God will keep His word.

So then another way of viewing the second coming of Christ is to see it as a vindication of the trust of all those who died trusting in Him. It can be seen as a tremendous day of light and revelation when God raises up all his chosen ones – many who suffered patiently for His name. On that day, all God’s enemies will see that the Christians were right after all. They will see how wrong they have been, but it will be too late.

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