Prayer and Justice
Today’s reading: II Samuel 1-3; Luke 18:1-17
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?” Luke 18:7-8
38 And the king said to his servants, “Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39 And I was gentle today, though anointed king. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are more severe than I. The Lord repay the evildoer according to his wickedness!” II Samuel 3:38-39
Injustice abounds in this world but God gives His people prayer so that they may call upon Him rather than to lose heart.
Jesus taught His disciples a parable so that they would pray rather than lose heart. It seems that they were in danger of getting discouraged about the injustice they saw in the world. They were about to see the greatest injustice ever perpetrated in human history, the arrest, trial, sentencing, and crucifixion of the Son of God. Jesus told them that even an irreverent, hard-hearted judge would not be able to resist the constant pleading of a widow.
But God is much more gracious than that judge. The Lord will respond and bring swift justice to those who call on Him. Jesus was telling them, “Pray. Don’t lose heart.”
When Saul died, his loyal followers, like Abner, did not immediately recognize David as the new king. Eventually, David gained power and it was clear that he would rule all Israel. Abner broke with Saul’s son, Ishbosheth and supported David. David welcomed Abner but Joab, David’s military commander, soon assassinated this former enemy. David showed mercy; Joab took revenge. The unity of the kingdom under David was jeopardized by Joab’s action. David mourned for Abner and the people recognized that Joab had acted unjustly against the king.
Certainly, there is injustice in human governments and societies. The powerful impose their wills on the weak. Shrewd and unprincipled people take advantage of the ignorant and trusting. It can be disheartening. But Jesus tells His disciples not to lose heart but to pray. He promises that God will give justice to His elect who cry to Him day and night.
Why do we not see more justice from God? The fault is not in God, but in our lack of faith. Do we cry to God or merely wring our hands and worry? Do we cry to Him in faith day and night, or merely send up an occasional perfunctory prayer and go back to whining about all the evils in the world? Think about that. Better yet, pray now that He may give justice to His elect.