From the Pulpit – Does God really care about us?

Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Karel Samek explores the question.

One parable Jesus told addresses unjust things taking place on our planet. It is the parable of the poor widow and the unjust judge.

The unjust judge seemed totally unconcerned about the helpless widow pleading for justice. Then a sudden change in his behaviour takes place. Parable is found in Luke chapter 18. I will quote the last part of it in Luke 18:7.8: “Won’t God grant His chosen people justice when they cry out to Him day and night? Is He slow to help them? I tell you, He will give them justice quickly. But when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

We are troubled when helpless people are taken advantage of. It is happening everywhere around our planet. This parable Jesus told addressed problem of oppression, human injustice and indifference of those who are in place of authority do something about it. It compares the attitude of the unjust judge with that of God. It also compares the persevering faith attitude of the oppressed widow with that of the last generation of believers before Jesus’ Second Coming. Before Christ’s return world’s evil, greediness and oppression will grow into enormous proportions.

Many people blame God for allowing injustice and evil continue. They feel God doesn’t care and ignores their calls for help. In this parable Jesus points out that though His intervention may seem delayed, He will step in and act at the right time. The poor widow didn’t give up and eventually wore down the unjust judge so he decided in her favour. The question is: Is God like that – indifferent and uncaring? Do human cries for help have to wear Him down before He decides to act?

People question God’s goodness fairness and justice. Some reject Him altogether others give up their faith. We hear slogans like: “I don’t need God, I believe in me.” “If you don’t fight for it, you won’t get it.” Popular psychology teaches us to depend on ourselves and our own strength. In the mindset of modern secularism there is no room for faith in the goodness or justice of God. Because we don’t see the bigger picture, we misinterpret God’s long-suffering toward worse individuals. The One who cares for and loves the most unworthy understands influences that shaped unacceptable behaviours. He bears long with human perversity trying to woo the guilty to change. When in the “Sermon on the Mount” Jesus asked us to pray for and show love and kindness for those who take advantage of us, mistreat us and persecute us, He had in mind their change and salvation. Which father, mother does not feel for their wayward children? Is God any different?  Misunderstanding God’s love for the erring can be costly to our faith.

After World War II, 80 per cent of Canadians attended some Christian church – some of them at least irregularly. Twenty per cent had not. Today that number is reversed and of the 20 per cent, many belong to other than Christian faith. What could be the reason? Growing segment of population questions goodness and justice of God.

Yet behind this rejection is a slumbering hope and longing for God’s love and companionship. Unfortunately there are many caricatures of God out there. Frustrated with religious confusion out there many post-moderns decided to carve out their own picture of god according to their own liking. Most people still have some belief in God or “Higher Power” somewhere up there – some look for god within themselves. Jesus came not only to die for guilty humanity and pay the highest price. He lived a beautiful life He both credits us with and shares with us. He came to show us what God is like to remove our fear and mistrust and to change our hearts. What an amazing and charming picture of loving Heavenly Father in life of Jesus we find in the Gospels. And what much better life it is to get to know Him personally and live in close relationship with Him.

Pastor Karel Samek

Visit Ashcroft 7th-Day Adventist church online at www.ashcroft22.adventistchurchconnect.org

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