The Parable of the Persistent Widow
Luke 18:1-8 English Standard Version (ESV)
1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give h 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?”
Today’s devotion is taken from Luke 18: 1-8 about the Parable of the Persistent Widow.
This is an interesting parable where the principle behind the parable is clear from the first verse which is that we ought always to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). In this parable, Jesus is seeking to reaffirm us that he cares for you and he will bring about justice in an imperfect world (Luke 18: 6-8). Jesus uses a lesser to bigger example in that if an unrighteous judge person can give this persistent widow what she asks for then what more a God who is righteous, unlimited in power and unlimited in love.
Two things in respect of the unrighteous judge stood out for me as I meditated on this parable is that the unrighteous judge gave in to the widow’s requests because he did not want the widow to “bother him” otherwise the widow “will wear him out” (Luke 18:5). This is in stark contrast to our Heavenly father who wants to listen to us at all times and the psalmist wrote in Psalm 116:2 “Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live”. Sometimes some of us may wonder is God listening to us or do I pray this item again? The answer is yes and yes! God cares for each and everyone of you and He will never be tired of listening to you! The Apostle Paul also reminds us that God’s will is for us to pray: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:16-17). Prayer may not always get immediate results but our persistence and faithfulness in prayer will be rewarded by our Heavenly Father.
2. Do not be discouraged
The phrase “do not lose heart” means do not be discouraged. Jesus knew in this life we will face troubles and challenges. By humbling ourselves before him and by always praying, we will find peace in Jesus Christ. Another place in the Bible which the phrase “Do not lose heart” appears is in 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 which
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen."
I find that this is such an apt parable for the situation that many of us are feeling at the moment. Some of us have been pre-occupied with anxiety about the virus and this serves as a reminder to us do not be discouraged! This virus is just a little dot in the bigger scheme of God’s plans, plans which are perfect for us and plans which are good for His people. God hears our cries to him and God will bring justice in this situation in His own timing (Luke 18-7).
Let me encourage all of you to never stop praying and do not be discouraged for God is moving even if we cannot see it. We must trust in God’s grace and His plans in our lives.
Father, we thank you for loving us even though we are sinners. We thank you for being always being with us in difficult situations. Please teach us to surrender to you and seek you with all our hearts and not to be discouraged. Teach us how to pray always in accordance to your will. Increase our faith and we pray for Your will to be done in this nation and in our lives. Amen.