and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|October 1, 2010||
Volume 9 Number 19
Shall He Find Faith on the Earth?
When Yahshua (Jesus) spoke in parables, He was showing an important truth to those who were able to comprehend what He was saying. He offered one such parable to show us that we should continue to pray and trust in God, even though our prayers do not seem to be being answered:
1 And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; -Luke 18
The parable was about a widow who went to the judge seeking justice against her adversary. She came to him continually, seeking justice and found none. Finally, however, the judge answered her request because he said "this widow troubles me:"
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, Avenge me of my adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. –Luke 18
Yahshua explained the meaning of the parable. If even the unjust judge would finally give justice to the woman who persistently pleaded to him, how much more is it clear that God will ultimately hear the pleadings of His own people and answer the requests that they have continually brought before Him?
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to him, though he bears long with them? –Luke 18
The answer is that God will answer those persistent prayers. Then Yahshua asked this key question concerning His return, "Shall He find faith upon the earth?"
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth? –Luke 18
The essence of His question seems to be how long will we wait for God to keep His promise? Will we continue in faith, even though we have not seen the answer to our prayers?
The children of Israel were unwilling to wait for Moses while he was getting the ten commandments from Yahweh. Instead of waiting, they made a golden calf to worship, which some believe represented the Egyptian goddess(see Gerald Massey, Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World, Vol. 2, London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1907, p. 674):
1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said to him, Arise, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what has become of him.
2 And Aaron said to them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me.
3 And all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.
4 And he received them from their hands, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt. -Exodus 32
King Saul of Israel couldn’t wait for Samuel, the priest and prophet, so he offered the sacrifice himself. For his impatience, the kingdom was taken away from him:
8 And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.
9 And Saul said, Bring here a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.
10 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.
11 And Samuel said, What have you done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you came not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;
12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto Yahweh: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.
13 And Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly: you have not kept the commandment of Yahweh your God, which he commanded you: for now would Yahweh have established your kingdom upon Israel forever.
14 But now your kingdom shall not continue: Yahweh has sought him a man after his own heart, and Yahweh has commanded him to be captain over his people, because you have not kept that which Yahweh commanded you. -1 Samuel 13
If our prayers are always answered immediately, where is the test of the endurance of our faith? When Yahshua heard that His friend, Lazarus, was sick, He delayed coming to help him. He stayed where He was for two more days!
5 Now Yahshua loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he stayed two days still in the same place where he was. –John 11
By the time Yahshua arrived to help Lazarus, he had already been dead and buried for four days.
17 Then when Yahshua came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. –John 11
He had delayed His coming for a purpose, which was to show the glory of God:
39 Yahshua said, Take you away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said to him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead four days.
40 Yahshua said to her, Said I not to you, that, if you would believe, you should see the glory of God? –John 11
The outcome was that Yahshua raised Lazarus from the dead, for the glory of God, causing many of those who saw the miracle of the power of God to believe on Him:
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Yahshua said to them, Loose him, and let him go.
45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Yahshua did, believed on him. –John 11
The miraculous healing of Lazarus was put in motion long before it was seen. The outcome of the delay in his healing was that many of the Jews who had not previously believed on Yahshua now believed on Him.
If we have been praying for a long time, but have seen no visible results, it is no time to fall into unbelief and stop praying. If we are praying in faith, then we know that whether He delays or whether He shows us His answer immediately, the prayer is being heard and answered according to the will of God, in His way and in His timing. Therefore, as Paul writes, we need to continue praying:
17 Pray without ceasing. -1 Thessalonians 5
As we make our needs known to each other, we are able to humbly pray for one another with powerful prayers offered in faith:
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. -James 5
"Effectual fervent" prayer is the kind that accesses the power of God. According to Yahshua, we must begin our prayer by believing that the name of God is holy:
9 After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. -Matthew 6
If we believe that the name of the Father is holy, then we will also believe that Yahshua’s name is holy because He came in the name of the Father:
26 Blessed is he that comes in the name of Yahweh: we have blessed you out of the house of Yahweh. -Psalms 118
Bearing the name of God because He is God, Yahshua has all power on heaven and earth:
18 And Yahshua came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. -Matthew 28
We have access to His power by believing in and proclaiming the authority of His name to answer our prayer:
14 If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. -John 14
If we believe God, then we will humble ourselves and wait for Him. Isaiah reminds us:
31 But they that wait upon Yahweh shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. –Isaiah 40
Even when we have not yet seen the glory and the power of God working in our lives, if we believe Him, then we know that it is. We will, therefore, continue to pray and trust Him because we know that He keeps His promises.
When Yahshua finally returns, will we have fallen into unbelief and be found worshipping a golden calf (such as the image of a goddess) or offering our own sacrifices because we think our prayers to Yahweh have not been answered? Or shall He find us in faith, patiently waiting for Him?
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Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.
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