October 20, 2019 - How Long, Lord? - A Reflection on Luke 18:1-8
A few days ago, (see October 10, 2019 - Persistence), we reflected upon the Parable of the Friend at Night, where Jesus spoke about how persistence pays. In today’s reading, the Parable of the Unjust Judge makes the same point about the efficacy of persistent prayer—that’s continual prayer (repeatedly), not continuous prayer (non-stop)—so let’s talk about another important lesson we can learn from this parable: the justice of God, which Jesus says will be granted quickly.
This justice is especially for those persecuted because of their faith in Jesus. The persecution is inevitable. We have Jesus’ assurance of that. He said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20). This is, of course, true for the real believer. If we are of the world, they will only accept us as their own—no persecution there (see John 15:19). But for the believer, it is terrible. The persecution and genocide of Christians across the world is worse today than at any time in history.
The suffering cry out to God, wondering how long they will have to suffer. I was reminded of a verse from Revelation that I read recently. It is very touching. Let me read it for you. “When (the Lamb) opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”
Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer,” (Revelation 6:9-11). They are asked to wait a little longer. How long is that? Peter says, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-9).
Waiting is hard. We all know that. But we have to trust that God’s time is perfect. And that he will come through. Jesus told us this story to encourage us, especially those who wait. None of us is worse off than the widow in this story; none of us is facing worse storms. But because of her persistent faith, the judge granted her justice. And if an unjust judge can do that, how much more will a just judge give us justice.
In the meantime, let us pray for all those who are being persecuted the world over.
Waiting is very hard, especially for those crying out to God for justice. But God is faithful and will give us what we seek if we have persistent faith. #Reflectonthis
Reflection (Luke 18:1-8): How Long, Lord?