Luke 18’s Unjust Judge… God or Satan?

5 Jan

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 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.’”  Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.” — Luke 18:1-6

Widow perspective

The prevailing opinion has been that we should liken ourselves to the widow… and that we should plead with the unjust judge (who represented God) until He relented because our unceasing persistence wore Him down.   I think we mostly believed this perspective because we were taught it… and because we didn’t see God as a gracious and benevolent God.  We mostly saw Him as austere, hard of hearing and not that fond of us because of our sinfulness (how could He ever even look on sin).  And the fact that we didn’t receive answers to our petitions as fast as we would like, only fueled our erroneous perspective.  In this perspective God’s delay seems to confirm that He’s fairly determined to not give us anything… and that He’s not even aware of our petty needs because He’s so preoccupied with more important things.

Break it down

1. Our old perspective says that we’re the widow (who in the old Hebrew culture had no rights, whatsoever)… but this can’t be accurate because we know that we’re the Bride of Christ.

2. We’ve believed that the unjust judge was God… but this can’t be true for several reasons.  Twice Jesus emphasizes that the judge did not “fear God nor regard man”… which makes it impossible for this to represent our God.

3. Another erroneous perspective says that God is strongly disinterested and even resistant to us… which is antithetical to everything we know about God’s big benevolent heart toward us.

So why did we ever believe this diabolic perspective?

Satan, the unjust judge!

Now if we just think about it for a moment, who would want us to have this distorted and diminished perspective of God?  Could it be the one who hates you and me… and hates God?  Could it be Satan?  Well, of course it is!  You see, he has perpetrated another lie on us.  He’s accomplished the degradation of God in our eyes exactly as he did with Eve when he asked, “Did God say…” causing Eve to doubt God’s good intentions toward her… and eventually leading her to being deceived.  Satan’s intention was to redefine God into his image and deceive us, too.  Satan has never stopped this ploy throughout all of history.  He’s a master at undermining God’s goodness.  You see if he can’t get us to blatantly sin, then he’ll get us to believe a lie about God which will weaken our confidence, security and faith in God.  Satan wants us to see ourselves as victims (the widow), rather than “more than conquerors through Him who loves us” and as those who have been duly authorized with Heavenly authority to speak into any terra firma situation which may be resisting God’s Kingdom in our lives.

It works like this: when we buy into the perspective of a disinterested and resistant God, we gravitate to the begging mode.  There is no faith in the begging mode and of course, “whatever is not of faith is sin”.  Then our begging mode leads to whining and reciting all our ills to our unjust-judge-god that Satan has created for us.  Satan’s smile and pleasure increases as we focus on (‘worship’) the problems more than the Problem Solver… and we lose sight of our authority to be the co-problem-solvers.  At this point, Satan has now successfully voided our effectiveness with God because “according to your faith be it unto you” and since we believe that He is disinterested and apathetic, any real faith we may have in God is now nearly nil.  Doesn’t this just sound awful when we lay it out in front of us like this?  Guess who wins in this scenario?  The perpetrator of the lie… Satan, of course.  He’s the unjust judge!  He hopes we won’t grasp Jesus’ exposé of Satan’s kingdom in these first 6 verses, because the truth is that all of Satan’s subjects are widow-like… having no rights… and are the focus of his hate.  He just hoped that we (like Eve) would fall for his lie and worship him.

We must not bow down or buy-in to the paradigm of verses 1–6.  This paradigm is the M.O. and tactic of Satan’s regime… it’s his protocol… it’s what NOT to do!  This paradigm is NOT for us!

The Contrast

So now that Jesus has just exposed Satan’s tactics, listen to the contrast Jesus gives of the M.O. of the Kingdom in the next two verses.

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?” — Luke 18:7, 8

Here Jesus contrasts the old perspective of the widow (verses 1-6) with a new perspective of our position with God… here He calls us “His own elect” – not widow.  The contrast is that if a beggar widow could extract some kind of response out of hate-filled Satan, how much more will our Loving God “speedily” avenge us.  You see, the contrast is 180 degrees polarized.  It’s as opposite as it gets.  And in the last sentence of verse 8, Jesus makes the point so relevant and personal.  Each time Jesus “comes” to you and I, will He find our hearts in the faith-less-widow-mode motivated by sheer desperation and pain begging the unjust judge (Satan) for some relief from his oppression… or motivated by the faith-filled, in-love heart of a Bride who is confidently assured that we are the apple of our Father’s eye and whose delight it is to give us the Kingdom?

Conclusion

We’re choosing to embrace the latter perspective thus circumventing the pain and curse that Adam and Eve experienced.  We believe that God is really good and has a full heart to quickly respond.  Never again will we equate ourselves with the widow who had no rights or favor such that we stoop to begging for a morsel from the lessor god who Satan intended to create in our eyes.  O, he thought he had us… but we’re breaking free into the favored and royal status of kings unto our God… kings who sit on the Throne with Christ as co-reigners with Him… NOW.

Can you say… God is not an unjust judge… and I am not a widow.  Say… I am the highly favored Bride of Christ and a duly authorized and empowered king unto my God who has been honored to co-reign with Him.

— MLH

 

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5 Responses to “Luke 18’s Unjust Judge… God or Satan?”

  1. Tom January 6, 2013 at 12:27 AM #

    Excellent clarity on a passage that is commonly misunderstood. It is imperative these days, to give the “If you’re seen me you’ve seen the Father” understanding of how wonderful our loving Father really is.

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    • marklhen February 6, 2013 at 11:41 PM #

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