We read this parable of the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8, starting with the first verse:
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.
We are to pray and not lose heart. I will give you an example of this. For years and years, my mother knew that I had an addiction to prostitutes, and for years, she prayed that I would find release. She loved me as a son, but she knew that I was in sin. I had trouble with mental illness. It came to a point where Satan caused me to be very angry. I had a lot of bitterness and pain towards God and towards my father. I had a lot of un-forgiveness and pain. I was going through a transition and Satan just did not like it. He was using my mental illness, anger and bitterness to hurt me and others. I struck out against my Mom and just crossed her off. With furious, white hot anger, I banished her by saying, “Do not ring me anymore.” I did the opposite of respecting and honoring my parents. I totally abused her; I swore my head off and told her I wanted nothing to do with her.
I told my pastor and she was very concerned. Meanwhile, my mother just continued to pray for her son. Not so much to see me—not so much to get me back—but she just prayed that I would be okay. She hoped in her heart that one day her relationship with me would be restored.
I know I really broke my mother’s heart. I had not spoken to her for fifteen months. In March 2010 my brother told me that my grandmother had died. God convicted me to contact her, so I decided to shop for a nice card and wrote on it that I was open to hearing from her. Immediately our relationship was restored.
Let us continue with the passage: saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me’” (Luke 18:2-5).
A woman kept coming back to court: she continually pestered the judge. We can’t do that in the Australian court system. Instead, we can go to one level of court and if we do not get justice, we can appeal to a higher court. There are three levels of court in this country, and if we lose in them, we will not get justice. In verse 3, it looks like this woman was able to come back to this judge over and over, and the judge, for selfish motives said, “I am going to give in to this woman because she is just going to wear me down.”
And verses 7-8: And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Many of us have the wrong idea about God. Many people believe that God is the source of all the disease, suffering and calamities in the world. Many of us have been taught that because God is in control, justice should reign on earth and bad things should not happen!
But let’s think about that. We have people in government who are responsible to run our country in a fair and just manner. We have a police force that is trained to handle crime and to protect us. These people have legal control over us, but does that mean that everybody comes under their control? No, of course not! Why? Because we all have a free will to choose what our actions will be. In theory, they should be in control but in practice, they are certainly not!
God is the Supreme Being, but He refuses to over-ride man’s free will. Hence we have a world totally out of control. The Bible says that Satan is the god of this world and that is true. He has legal authority over all unbelievers. God gave Adam and Eve control over earth and they by their disobedience abdicated their control to Satan. It is for this reason that the world is in such a mess!
Many people see God as an unjust judge: they are actually bitter and secretly hostile towards God. Life can be hard and we struggle in many ways, and we assume that if God loves us, He should remove the struggles from our life. So much of our lives are dependent on what we know and believe. The truth that we know will set us free: truth is found in the Bible and in the Person of Jesus Christ who said: “I am the truth.” (John 14:6). Again in John 1:16 – “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
A good preacher can refute error by speaking truth into our life. I only recently discovered that suffering is not from God, but is the result of Adam’s sin and the effect that Satan has in this world. Truth brings healing to our life. There are so many factors involved in being set free. We start to become free when we know the truth about God—who He is, what He is responsible for and what He can do. Then, we have to know who we are in Christ and what we can do in God’s name, and we have to pray in faith based on what we know about these two things. Also we must know what we are and what we are not responsible for.
Many non-Christians have bitterness and anger in their hearts towards God for things that have happened in their life that they believe God could have prevented. Evil and suffering happen, not because God doesn’t care, but because we live in a world full of sin and sinners. We live in a fallen world which is under the control of Satan.
In Chapter 30, the parable of the Pearl of Great Price, I spoke about living simultaneously in two kingdoms: the visible and the invisible. The invisible kingdom has two opposing camps: one belongs to God and the other belongs to Satan. Until we are born-again, we belong to Satan’s kingdom. He is the legal authority over our lives! Suffering comes from two sources only: Satan and his demons or by the wrong choices made by humans.
Even, Christians who have been transferred from Satan’s kingdom to God’s kingdom by the work of Jesus on the cross: can become prey to the devil’s hate, if they do not cling to God and resist the enemy. A great Bible verse to put into practice is James 4:7-8a says: “Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
The opposite of resisting something, is to be apathetic or passive towards it. A passive Christian will become prey to all the enemy’s attacks: we need to use spiritual weapons against Satan. These weapons include praise and thanksgiving to God, prayer and verbally resisting Satan by using the word of God against his deception and assaults. We have to fight the good faith: we are in a spiritual warfare! (You may need to re-read Chapter 19 on the King’s War Plans.)
To know the word of God is absolutely essential for our survival against sin and the devil. Also, we need to draw on the power of the Holy Spirit before we even begin to fight the devil. Note the order of the verse: first submit to God. That means to recognize his awesome power, victory and authority in our life. Second, we are to openly and verbally out loud resist the attack of the devil: remind him that he is a defeated foe and has no authority to rule in our life because we are covered by the blood of Jesus. Use God’s words against him. When we follow this principle, the devil will flee!
Read the story of when Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by Satan. Note how he would not succumb to the enemy’s taunts, but used the word of God against every suggestion Satan made. In the end Satan left Him alone. If Jesus needed to fight Satan, we certainly have to. This has been recorded for our benefit so that we know how to do combat and win. This story is in Matthew 4:1-11. The Holy Spirit knew that this temptation was necessary, before Jesus began His short three year ministry on earth. The line had to be drawn: Satan had to be put in His place right from the beginning. The same thing happens we begin to minister, Satan will do his best to thwart our plans and we have to hold our ground just like Jesus did in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes bad things happen just because of foolish choices we ourselves have made or foolish choices made by others that have affected our life. For example: Christians can be involved in an accident caused by a drunken driver! Innocent children can be sexually abused by a pervert who has lust from the devil in his heart. We can go into a bad marriage with the mistaken idea that our love will cause our spouse to overcome their gambling addiction or whatever.
But this parable is saying that God hears our prayers like that unjust judge. The parable says that God will avenge—He will answer our prayers. He will make sure things are done right. Jesus emphasized that we should pray like that and not to give up: God doesn’t work in the same timeframe to us: this can be frustrating, but it builds perseverance in us. If, in the meantime, we decide to take matters into our own hands and execute our own revenge, we in fact prevent God from working on our behalf. God says “Okay my child, I will just step aside!” Instead, ask Him to exercise His justice on our behalf. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:31 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Personally, I would prefer the anger of another human to be foisted on me than God’s anger to be released onto me! God’s way is always the best way!
To explain this parable fully would take an entire book. There is so much to cover and the best I can do is advise you to watch Andrew Wommack at the address I give at the end of the book.