HEROES OF THE BIBLE

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God’s call to advocacy — to plead another’s cause — is spread across the pages of the Bible, and we see powerful stories of Biblical characters who put that call into action. In both the Old and New Testaments, God calls on advocates to speak boldly, whether or not they believe they’re qualified. Each of the six advocates below combines their faith in God with a unique advocacy strategy, and God uses them all powerfully to bring about justice.

The Persistent Widow (Luke 18)

Jesus told the parable of the persistent widow to teach his disciples that they should always pray and never give up (Luke 18:1). The widow in the story, as a woman without a husband, has little power, but she is desperate for justice. But the judge that she needs justice from “neither feared God nor cared what people thought” (Luke 18:2). We don’t know why the widow needs justice, but it’s clear she has her work cut out for her.

But she has her strategy nailed down: persistence! We don’t see great drama or miracles in this story — we see a woman who just won’t give up. The judge finally says, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!” (Luke 18:4-5).

This story shows someone with little power in the world’s eyes refusing to give up on justice. At the end of the story, Jesus reminds the disciples that if an unjust judge can grant justice because of persistence, how much more will God? (Luke 18:7).

We are all called to work for justice (Micah 6:8) but God uses each of our unique positions and gifts to be effective in diverse situations. Whether we’re called to speak truth to power, stand up for the weak, or ask someone to do the right thing, God is with us when we cry out for justice.

“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” — Luke 18:7

Author: Godfrey Gregg

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