Take It To The King
Last week, as I was reading through Matthew, I saw something new. The parable of the unmerciful servant in ch.18 is familiar to me, and hopefully to you. It’s the story of the man who is called before the king for outstanding debts and he begs off. The king is merciful to him and cancels the debt. The man walks out, sees someone who owes him, grabs and chokes him, demanding payment on HIS debt. The second man begs for mercy, but the first man refuses and has the debtor thrown in prison. Total injustice!
So the next verse jumped out at me like it was fluorescent: “When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.” v. 31. As soon as I read that, I knew that was us. We are the other servants. We are the ones watching the injustice. We are witnessing the hypocrisy and mistreatment and abuse of another human. And it’s our job to tell the king.
I don’t always understand how prayer works and how God works out justice and mercy, but I am convinced they are linked. This passage shows that. The ones witnessing the injustice were outraged and they ran and brought their concerns to the king. We should be outraged at abuse and cruelty, but we often cannot do anything about it. We despair of being able to do anything about all the evil we see in the world. Sometimes we give up hope of being able to change anything because we are powerless. But these servants did not try to fix the problem themselves. They knew they had no power in this situation, but they knew who DID have the power. They “brought a detailed report to the king.” I know a woman who prays this way, very specifically naming over wrongs done to innocent people. You know the rest of the story? The king does something about it. He “is furious,” the text says. As Romans 12 tells us, “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.”
Let’s make sure we petition God with the abuses, injustices, and cruelty we see in this world. It could be as local as our neighbor with his wife or child, or as global as Boko Haram. But we need to bring a detailed report to him in our outrage, and trust him to bring justice.