And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;…
1. There are points of resemblance between God's people and this widow. In Satan, have not we also an adversary to be avenged on? Are not we also poor and needy? She had known happy days; and so also had man. By death she had lost her husband; and by sin we have lost our God. Poor and friendless, she had no means of avenging, of righting herself; no more have we — we were without help when Christ died for the ungodly. "The sons of Zeruiah," cried David, "are too many for me"; and so are sin and its corruptions, the world and its temptations, the devil and his wiles, for us.
2. There are likewise some points of resemblance between God and this unjust judge. Long had he stood by and, without one effort on her behalf, seen this poor woman spurned and oppressed; and long also God seemed to stand by when His people were ground to the dust in Egypt; in old Pagan and in more modern Popish times, when their cruel enemies shed the blood of His saints like water, and, immured in dungeons, bleeding on scaffolds, hiding in the caves of our mountains, His elect cried to Him day and night, and the Church, helpless as a widow, implored Him, saying, "Avenge me of mine adversary!" And this is true also of His dealings with individual believers. How long in their corruption are the messengers of Satan left to buffet them? Weary of the struggle with some besetting sin, and hating it as a slave his cruel tyrant, they cry, "How long, O Lord, how long?" how often, all but despairing, are they ready to exclaim with Paul, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
3. But there are important points of disparity between this judge and our God: and in these I find assurance of final victory, and the highest encouragements to instant, constant, urgent prayer. A bad man, with a heart cold as ice and hard as iron, was he moved by importunity to redress the wrongs of one for whom he felt no regard, whose happiness or misery was nothing to him? — how much more will God be importuned to grant our prayers! Just, and more than just, He is merciful and gracious, long-suffering and slow to wrath, abundant in goodness and in truth.
(T. Guthrie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;