Will God delay? (Lk 18:7-18:7)

“Will not God

Grant justice

To his chosen ones

Who cry to him

Day and night?

Will he delay long

In helping them?”

 

ὁ δὲ Θεὸς οὐ μὴ ποιήσῃ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν αὐτοῦ τῶν βοώντων αὐτῷ ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός, καὶ μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς;

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge.  Luke had Jesus bring this parable to a conclusion with a comment about God.  He wondered whether God (ὁ δὲ Θεὸς) would grant justice (οὐ μὴ ποιήσῃ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν) to his chosen ones (τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν αὐτοῦ) who cried to him (τῶν βοώντων αὐτῷ) day and night (ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός)?  Would God delay long in helping them (καὶ μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς)?  The comparison was explicit.  Jesus said that God would grant justice to his chosen ones who petitioned him day and night.  Their persistence prayer would pay off.  God would not delay in helping them and answering their prayers for justice.  Has God answered your persistent prayers?

They became angry (Lk 4:28-4:28)

“When they heard this,

All in the synagogue

Were filled

With rage.”

 

καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες θυμοῦ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ ἀκούοντες ταῦτα,

 

Luke continued his unique story.  He said that all the people in the synagogue (ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ) in Nazareth, when they had heard this (ἀκούοντες ταῦτα), they were filled with rage (καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες θυμοῦ).  After telling these 2 episodes about these 9th century BCE prophets that helping non-Israelites a 1,000 years earlier, this crowd was not pleased.  In fact, they were really angry that Jesus was not going to do any miracles there.

Moral sense of the Bible

Others read the biblical texts looking for a moral sense or meaning.  What am I to do?  What is God calling me to do?  The answer can be found in reading the Bible.  By reading the Bible, I may find out how I should act.  The Bible is an aid in helping me to make decisions.  The Bible is my guide book in life, as it tells me what to do in difficult situations.  It has the moral standards by which I want to lead my life.

Bloodshed will come to Mount Seir (Ezek 35:5-35:6)

“‘You cherished

An ancient enmity.

You gave over

The people of Israel

To the power

Of the sword,

At the time

Of their calamity,

At the time

Of their final punishment.’

Says Yahweh God!

‘Therefore,

As I live,

I will prepare you

For blood.

Blood shall

Pursue you.

You did not hate

Bloodshed.

Therefore,

Bloodshed

Shall pursue you.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, noted that Edom or Mount Seir had been an ancient enemy with enmity towards Israel. Thus, they took advantage of the people of Israel at the time of their calamity, at their final punishment, by using the sword against them, helping the Babylonians. The response of Yahweh God was that he was going to prepare these Edomites for further bloodshed. As they did not hate bloodshed, it would pursue them further.

The everlasting covenant (Jer 32:40-32:41)

“I will make

An everlasting covenant

With them.

I will never draw back

From doing good

To them.

I will put the fear of me

In their hearts.

Thus they may not turn

From me.

I will rejoice

In doing good

To them.

I will plant them

In this land

In faithfulness,

With all my heart,

With all my soul.”

Yahweh was going to make an everlasting covenant with the new returnees from the exile. He was not going to stop doing good for them. They would have the fear of Yahweh in their hearts, so that they would never turn away from him again. Yahweh would rejoice in helping them. He wanted to plant them in this land of faithfulness with all his heart and soul. In other words, Yahweh was giving himself to the returning exiles to the Promised Land.

The old broken covenant (Jer 31:32-31:32)

“‘It will not be

Like the covenant

That I made

With their ancestors.

I took them

By the hand

To bring them out

Of the land of Egypt.

They broke

This covenant,

Even though I was

Their husband.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh was clear. Their ancestors had broken the old covenant when he brought them out of Egypt. He had taken them by the hand to lead them out like a husband helping his wife. Yet they still broke the covenant or alliance with Yahweh.

Wisdom and knowledge will not save the Babylonians (Isa 47:10-47:11)

“You felt secure

In your wickedness.

You said.

‘No one sees me.’

Your wisdom

With your knowledge

Led you astray.

You said in your heart,

‘I am.

There is no one besides me.’

But evil shall come upon you.

You cannot charm it away.

Disaster shall fall upon you.

You will not be able to ward it off.

Ruin shall come on you suddenly,

When you know nothing about it.”

Another common biblical theme was the idea that no one saw them when they were doing wicked things. The Babylonians were led astray by their own knowledge and wisdom, instead of helping them. They thought that there was no one equal to them. Their charms will not help them to ward off disaster, since their ruin will come quickly. They will not know what hit them.