(Luke 18:1-8 and Psalm 65:5)
Laying emphasis on prayer and not giving up due to delayed answer from God, Lord Jesus told the disciples about a widow who was wronged and sought justice. But the judge of the town “neither feared god nor cared what people thought”. The widow neither lost hope nor gave up in seeking justice against her adversary. The judge refused to listen to her pleas for a while but eventually thought that though I do not fear God nor other people but she may attack me also causing loss of honor. The widow finally received her due only because of her continuous efforts for that. Then the Lord clarifies the point of the parable- God who is a righteous judge always hears the prayers of those who seek Him and delivers justice to them.
In today’s world system a poor and a helpless person is generally left to fend for himself and for paucity of money he is unable to hire the services of a good lawyer. As a result he is unable to ensure proper investigation and presentation of evidence while also failing to present the case before the judge. The judges of this world also “do not fear God” but do fear the authorities of the state. In their righteousness they proclaim to others “Keep away, Do not come near me, for I am too sacred for you”.
In such a situation what should a person do to obtain justice? The Scriptures clarify the rule established by God, “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless (poor). If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry”. The poor is not one who is financially disadvantaged but also one who is socially or physically underprivileged. We must take recourse to plead our case before the only Supreme Authority in the universe and seek His intervention to provide justice. He has promised to hear and His promises are true.
We are created in the image of God and as such are His ambassadors during our lives. We are thus supposed to participate in enforcement of Divine laws of justice and love and join others in checking any violation of God’s laws. It was such a movement that forced everyone in authority to investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of the heinous rape and murder of a young girl in Delhi a few years ago. Collective action in prayer as well as a movement is heard by God as well as authorities placed by God.
All religious books are replete with stories of God intervening for providing help to the suffering weak. The other aspect enunciated in the parable is to persevere in our efforts through prayers while waiting for His answer. God has established a set time for everything to happen and His timing may not confirm to our timetable but we must continue in faith and prayer even if there is no apparent sign of a reply. Abraham waited for twenty five years for his prayer to be answered but he did not give up. God gives us not what we think is good for us but what He decides is of benefit for us and others around us. His ways are strange but just and He definitely heeds to the call of those who eagerly wait for Him.
It is equally our responsibility to help the weak in their fight for our Lord also commands thus. “I, the Lord, command you to do what is just and right. Protect the person who is being cheated from the one who is cheating him. Do not ill-treat or oppress foreigners, orphans, or widows; and do not kill innocent people in this holy place” (Jeremiah 22:3). If He punishes the offenders, He also rewards those who obey!