The accuser comes against the productive, alive, soul. Job, of the Bible, in the land of Uz, was one of these. The first thing we learn of him, that is repeated by God himself, is that he, “was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”(Job 1:1,8)
What does this kind of life look like? Here’s a picture of it from the book of Job:
“… IÂ delivered the poor who cried for help,
Â Â Â Â and the fatherless who had none to help him.
The blessing of him who wasÂ about to perish came upon me,
Â Â Â Â and I causedÂ the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
IÂ put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
Â Â Â Â my justice was like a robe andÂ a turban.
I wasÂ eyes to the blind
Â Â Â Â and feet to the lame.
I was a father to the needy,
Â Â Â Â and I searched outÂ the cause of him whom I did not know.
IÂ brokeÂ the fangs of the unrighteous
Â Â Â Â and made him drop his prey from his teeth.” (Job 29:12-17)
Timothy Keller speaks of Francis I. Anderson’s commentary on Job, calling Job 31 one of the most important texts in the Bible for the study of Israelite ethics, “It is a complete picture of how a righteous Israelite was supposed to live, and to Job, right conduct is almost entirely social…In Job’s conscience…to omit to do good to any fellow human being, of whatever rank or class, would be a grievous offense to God.” Here’s some of the things Job chapter 31 addresses:
Sexual purity, falsehood and lies, adultery, fairness to employees, helping, clothing, sheltering and feeding the poor and needy, bribery or unjust use of influence, idolatry of money or created things like nature, not delighting over an enemy’s failures, hospitality, lack of repentance or honesty about sin due to fear of men rather than fear of God, and mistreatment of the earth.
Job, this model of righteousness, is accused by Satan and “friend”, but he says, “I clothed myself with righteousness and it clothed itself with me.” (Job 29:14) He says, “I hold to my righteousness; I wouldn’t let it go; my heart will not shame me as long as I live.” (Job 27:6)
If one of our pastors stood in church this Sunday and said the same, no doubt there would not be one, but a crowd, of Bildad the Shuhites:
Bildad the Shuhite again attacked Job:
â€œGod is sovereign, God is fearsomeâ€”
Â Â Â Â everything in the cosmos fits and works in his plan.
Can anyone count his angel armies?
Â Â Â Â Is there any place where his light doesnâ€™t shine?
How can a mere mortal presume to stand up to God?
Â Â Â Â How can an ordinary person pretend to be guiltless?
Why, even the moon has its flaws,
Â Â Â Â even the stars arenâ€™t perfect in Godâ€™s eyes,
So how much less, plain men and womenâ€”
Â Â Â Â slugs and maggots by comparison!â€ (Job 25:1-6)
Said pastor would probably be “released” from serving if he responded with the sarcasm Job did:
â€œHow you haveÂ helped him who has no power!
Â Â Â Â How you have savedÂ the arm that has no strength!
How you haveÂ counseled him who has no wisdom,
Â Â Â Â and plentifully declared sound knowledge!
With whose help have you uttered words,
Â Â Â Â and whose breathÂ has come out from you?Â (Job 26:1-4)
Would there be a few who would also hear his humility?
“By his power he stills sea storms,
Â Â Â Â by his wisdom he tames sea monsters.
With one breath he clears the sky,
Â Â Â Â with one finger he crushes the sea serpent.
And this is only the beginning,
Â Â Â Â a mere whisper of his rule.
Â Â Â Â Whatever would we do if heÂ reallyÂ raised his voice!â€ (Job 26: 12-14)
His humility consisted of hiding himself in righteousness HIMSELF, not in people pleasing. And this is how and why Job could say he had “clothed himself in righteousness” or as another version puts it, “IÂ put on righteousness, and it clothed me;…”
The accuser comes before God like a tattle tale wanting to get someone “in trouble” but the righteous, alive, awake, souls have already come, they have confessed their sins and been healed and hidden beneath the shadow of His wings, righteousness covered them.
“He who dwells inÂ the shelter of the Most High
Â Â Â Â will abide inÂ the shadow of the Almighty.
I will sayÂ to theÂ Lord, â€œMyÂ refuge and myÂ fortress,
Â Â Â Â my God, in whom IÂ trust.â€
For he will deliver you fromÂ the snare of the fowler
Â Â Â Â and from the deadly pestilence.
He willÂ cover you with his pinions,
Â Â Â Â and under hisÂ wings you willÂ find refuge;
Â Â Â Â hisÂ faithfulness isÂ a shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:1-4) (emphasis mine)
The “blameless and upright” do not pretend perfection,
Blessed is the one
Â whose transgressions are forgiven,
Â whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
Â Â Â Â whose sin theÂ LordÂ does not count against them
Â Â Â Â and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent,
Â Â Â Â my bones wasted away
Â Â Â Â through my groaningÂ all day long.
For day and night
Â Â Â Â your hand was heavyÂ on me;
my strength was sapped
Â Â Â Â as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
Â Â Â Â and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, â€œI will confess
Â Â Â Â my transgressionsÂ to theÂ Lord.â€
And you forgave
Â Â Â Â the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
Â Â Â Â while you may be found;
surely the risingÂ of the mighty waters
You are my hiding place;
Â Â Â Â you will protect me from trouble
Â Â Â Â and surround me with songs of deliverance.
I will instructÂ you and teach youÂ in the way you should go;
Â Â Â Â I will counsel you with my loving eye onÂ you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
Â Â Â Â which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
Â Â Â Â or they will not come to you.
Many are the woes of the wicked,
Â Â Â Â but theÂ Lordâ€™s unfailing love
Â Â Â Â surrounds the one who trustsÂ in him.
Rejoice in theÂ LordÂ and be glad, you righteous;
Â Â Â Â sing, all you who are upright in heart! (Psalm 32)
An error has occurred in the body of Messiah.Â We lack confidence, because we lack truth and words of truth, strong words. Words like Job knew. We hear “saint”, “upright” or “righteous”, Â and think that belongs to a select few instead of hearing redeemed one, instead of hearing “me”.Â We’re estranged from our roots that would have taught us these things, but all praise to God, His Spirit, still present, will teach us and lead us into all these truths. His Word is present, but will we take and eat?
We can’t live what we don’t believe. We can’t believe if we do not first “hear”.
It’s time to clothe ourselves with righteousness and experience righteousness clothing itself with us.
We are currently in the Biblical month of Elul. The word Elul is an acronym for the Hebrew letters, aleph, lamed, vav, and lamed. In Hebrew these letters begin each word in the passage of Song of Songs 6:3, “I am my beloveds and He is mine.” These words are on the wind blowing through the church, I am praying today for us all to have ears to hear.
The accuser comes to the productive, fruit producing, soul. We must be ready to stand still on our Cornerstone. We are known, hidden beneath the wings of He Whose throne is all mercy and grace. It is not arrogance to know so, to say so, nor to live so. It is right. This is like a beloved child who knows to whom they belong.Â Amen.
“And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.'” (Revelation 12:10)
With youÂ in looking toÂ the faithfulness of God,
Raynna, for the whole family
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