Today’s readings.. (1 Chronicles 8), (Ezekiel 21), (Luke 18)

Today we read the parable of the persistent widow who kept coming to the judge in her city asking “justice against my adversary” – but this “judge neither feared God nor respected men” [Luke 18 v.23].  We get the impression some countries today have many judges like that, maybe it would resonate in the minds of some of Jesus’ hearers with some judges they knew!
In the end, the judge says, “because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice” [v.5] Jesus then draws the great contrast between a judge of this nature and God, saying, “will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night?  Will he delay long over them?” [v.7]
The Psalms of David illustrate his experiences with God. Also we are presently reading Ezekiel’s constant contacts with God. The life of Paul provides many examples, remember how an angel appeared to him in the tempest tossed ship on the way to Rome when all seemed lost. (Acts 27 v.21-25).
The climax of the parable applies to the very last days – and raises the question as to whether there will be any real faith existing then.  Verse 8 is the climax and ‘punch line’ of this challenging parable. “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”  Some have suggested it means, ‘the faith’ in the sense of ‘a true faith’ – but the Gk does not support this. We checked more than a dozen translations and only the Amplified Bible put in “the” – rendering it as “persistence in the faith?”  Intelligent faith is an essential foundation for real faith in action.
Christ’s question is for us to answer today!  No doubt there were times when such as Paul and Jeremiah cried out in faith day and night!
But how much will that be the case when, as we are due to read on Friday, there is “distress of nations in perplexity  … people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world.” [21 v.26]  Now read the next 2 verses – and let us make sure the lamps of our faith are full of oil.

 

* Click verse text to see cross references.
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