Summary: Many of us are too quick to throw in he towel and give up on God; when we do that we are doing exactly what the devil wants us to do. We are to persevere and trust God to do the impossible.
This morning I want to talk a little about the rewards of never giving up on God. Today’s gospel story is about a persistent woman and a disinterested God. It is also about a mother who would not take “no” as an answer.
The woman was a Canaanite which meant she was a gentile. She came from a race that was cursed by God because they were idol worshippers. Scripture does not tell us but we have to assume that her idol Gods were unable to answer her prayers or heal
We are not told she was a bad woman but perhaps her circumstances caused her to be misguided for a while. A lot of people are like her – they try the world before they can come to God.
Some people are so blinded that they never come to God. They hear the Gospel but their hearts are so hardened that they don’t believe. But what about you my friends? Do you believe? Do you trust Jesus enough to answer your prayers and solve all of your life’s problems? The only thing
standing between us and our miracle is trusting God to do the impossible.
It appears there came a time when the woman took her eyes off the world and turned to Jesus and cried out saying: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David.”
A lot of people pray to God as if God owes them something and then wonder why their prayers are not answered. Friend, when is the last time you cried out to God to have mercy upon you?
Prayer is not always about asking God for something; prayer is first surrendering yourself completely to God. This is what the Canaanite woman did when she cried for mercy. She wasn’t a Jew but a gentile. As an Idol worshipper she had no right or standing to come into the presence of Jesus. We know the disciples wanted her to leave.
Likewise, I am suggesting that in the journey of this life people will always try to push you away from God. Evil is constantly at work. You and I have a choice to listen to men or turn our eyes upon God. Job’s friends tried to turn Job away from God but Job said “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.”
(Job 13). I wonder if you and I can say that?
Although the disciples wanted the woman to leave she wouldn’t go until she heard from the Lord. But, when the Lord did speak, his words were not comforting at all because he said he was only sent to the house of Israel. This means the blessings of God was only reserved for his chosen people.
Oftentimes you and I give up praying to God when it appears that he is not listening or doesn’t care. I wonder if there might be some here this morning who have felt rejected like this woman.
Perhaps you are saying, I have such a great need and earnestly prayed to the Lord so many times but he does not want to hear me. Perhaps, I am not good enough. Perhaps I do not have what it takes; or I am not as righteous as some others. You may be right in all of these but don’t be too quick to throw in the towel and give up. The devil would love for you to walk away defeated. But, just like there was a happy ending to this story, there can be a happy ending to yours as well when you refuse to give up.
The woman may not have been from the
chosen race and neither are we, but the curse never prevented her from her miracle. She continued to plead. We are told her crying turned into worship because vs. 25 says, “Then she came and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.”
Jesus did not appear to be moved at all. Instead he rephrased his first answer and said: “It is not right to take away the childrens’ food and cast it to the dogs.”
Perhaps you are wondering why he said that. I believe that Jesus was trying his best to be faithful to the promises of the Father who specially chose the people of Israel to be his children. The problem is the children did not want any bread - the bread of life came to them but they rejected him.
Imagine if your children refused to eat at your table, would you give up on them? Probably not, and so I assume Jesus was wrestling with something similar. He had bread to give but the children did not want it. I am sure it broke the heart of God.
Scripture tell us:
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, but the world knew him not. He came unto his own, but his own did not receive him; but as many as received him, to them gave them power to become the sons and daughters of God.”