In Part 1, we considered a man called Job in the subject of being falsely accused or judged. The spirit of accusation works subtly sometimes that the accusers may think they are representing God himself in his word when they are not. There are a number of lessons we can glean on in the book of Job concerning being accused, being voiceless and speaking out.
1. Accused doesn’t mean guilty:
Job was upright and God spoke for him. If it was a crime, Job would have been arrested. Perhaps he was even called a wizard that ate up his children and his sins where catching up with him. They probably speculated that his wealth had been obtained by evil means and now it was pay back time. In my mother tongue they say “akaromba”. Then others could have said “akaroyiwa” meaning he has been bewitched. Ofcourse there is the enemy camp…these are the haters and evil ones that may have been trying to bring job down spiritually for years. This was time to celebrate their weapons and victory. Job had fallen from grace right straight into the mud. But was this really the case? In all these scenarios people are quick to say God is not there and so someone becomes labeled as a hypocrite too. Once a hypocrite then a liar, a fake, an evil person, a hater, a schemer etc. If you know God and are confident in your relationship with him, what is left is to believe HIS report against the strife of words . God will speak for you even when you can’t hear it, perceive it or see him. Therrfore, stand in that and forget everything else! Like Abraham the father of faith, hope against hope (Romans 4:18-21).
2. Faith may fail but Trust in a relationship should hold it up
Job had faith in God but while in the mud faith may have been ‘failing’. In other words, what he knew about God and what was on the ground was not matching. I mean when you pray for something and an evil thing happens instead (e.g divine bealth versus sickness or loss). The children had all died, there was no bringing them back from the grave. Faith had failed because he had prayed and made offerings for their protection but he now had lost more than just children. However, he knew and understood that God was real, superior and faithful. He therefore also stood unshaken in his faith and remained confident in that when God had tried him he would come forth as pure gold (Job 23:10). God too was confident in his servant Job and so it was a two way bond. What strikes me is Job’s faith in God even in bad times. That to me is trust. Trust anchors faith in that faith believes that God is able and trust rests in that he will do it for me. Trusting God means that even the bad things that happen to one are not used to give Satan accorlades of victory but used to stand confidently and wait on the Lord knowing that he is not only able but will show up in his wisdom. Trust also understands his wisdom as his timetable and his way. Even when i can’t hear God or trace him, when the people around me don’t see God in my life or even believe that he was ever a part of it, trust means i remain assured of his not so visible or perceivable presence. He has been there, he remains there, and will always be there and that settles it.
Job had so many questions for God in his pain amd agony. In that he was to be found guilty before the throne. There will always be some challenging situations that lead us into the space of being accused. For Job it was extensive loss (children and wealth) and serious sickness. In life i always hear people asking “why?”. Its easy to say “what did i ever do to deserve this”. As humans we have a tendency of placing a price on our works and faith so that possessions becomes a measure of one’s standing with God. As we can see from the Job project, God’s ways are certainly not our ways. The lesson we can take is that people will accuse us and sometimes they will have the grounds to do so. If we ourselves know the real truth, our spirit can testify with the Holy Spirit that it is well. It may not be well at that point but it should certainly get well in God’s wisdom and time. As it were, accusation is heartbreaking, heartrending and heartwrecking on top of the already smashed-by-God heart. Accusation adds salt to injury making matters worse. A broken heart is sometimes careless with words and that is why Job had to repent. God is God above, and he was man beneath. He had no business taking God into court and making careless utterences. When God finally arrived and spoke, he realised how impure he was as man to be in the presence of God. As man we have a tendency of ‘holifying’ ourselves in self-righteousness but at our best we are nothing but sinners. For that, we should approach the presence of God with a humble and repentant mind. Even when we think we have done nothing wrong, there is sin lurking somewhere even if its in the innerman!
I have been rebuked by the Holy spirit sometimes for being unrepentant. I remember situation in which i have been falsely accused. In each scenario a case eas presented against me that i could not argue out of. My accuser(s) actually offended me in their actions after it had been settled that i was at fault and i had agreed. Being close people to me, i obviously expected inquiry, dialogue and understanding as opposed to judgement, accusation and being shut out. So i started focusing on their wrongs and went through months of heartbrake, heartache, regret, disapointment and brokenness. I resented them and found i had to repent all the time because of these negative emotions that i couldn’t handle. God just watched me act all holy and wronged and plead with him for justice and restoration. In thw one case, oneday the Holy Spirit said i was “prideful and unapologetic”. I was shocked, resisted it at first but found it to be true. I was sad and cried in repentance. I was required to go and apologise. Swallowing my pride and going to apologise with a tail between my legs was the hardest thing. I was embarrased as i had to apologise in the face of other people. I had shamed Christendom by my actions. Well long story short, i did then humble myself and nothing beats the feeling of humility and obedience when you finally accomplish it against your flesh!
In all of God’s word, intercession seems to be at his heart judging by the law and just the theme of love that sweeps all across scripture. God wants us to love each other and one of the ways we can do that is by intercession. After God had shown up, he instructed Job’s friends to go and make burnt offerings to Job and then Job would pray for them (Job 42:7-10). They had wronged God in the way they treated his ‘upright one’. After praying for his accusers, Jobs captivity was turned and his friends were saved from the wrath of God. So God is still interested in the welfare of our accusers and as much as in ours. Sometimes It is our prayer that will save them and God wants may want it that way. This is not to say that when you don’t pray for them they will suffer, infact when you don’t do so, you also suffer. Therefore intercession works both ways. Ps* this does not mean we pray for Satan. The spirit in the accusers must certainly be cast out.
Finally we can learn something from the relationships in Jobs project
God and Satan:
God is superior and Satan is inferior. Satan knows his place as a created being and will never go beyond the bounds set by God. Satan believes in God and his power and he is aware of Gods hedges of protection. After doing his part, it remained God’s sovereign business to deliver Job, heal him amd restore him.
God and Job:
God is superior and Job is inferior. God speaks for Job and has faith in his ability to stand. Job knows his place as the created and by faith he fully submits himself wholly to God in goodtimes and in badtimes. He anchors his faith with trust that God will absolutely and undoubtedly in his love and ability to work things for his good, deliver him nomatter what. This was a solid relationship built over time. What is your relationship with God? Can he speak for you?
3. Job and his wife
Job has a faith and trust in God that his wife does not. If Job would listen to his wife, then he would have fallen. His wife is unable to trust Job in his faith journey but that does not stop Job because of what he knows he has with God. Relationship with God is therefore superior to any other.
4. Job and his friends
Jobs friends are the close to him. Three of them (Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar) are those people that break his heart further. Yes they are his fellow colleaugues in church but they do not know Job enough to see things from his own point of view. Their friendship lacks trust or even faith. Even if the faith was in God, they have gone against teaching by crucifying Job, judging him amd accusing him. The youngest of them (Elihu) stands on the greatness of God. He does not focus on Job but on the sovereignty of God. This is exemplary. As it were, age ain’t nothing but a number!
5. Job and Satan
Here there is absolutely no relationship. Satan just does what he wants and goes. Job has no thought of Satan and doesn’t look for him in his suffering. There is no time that Jobs takes to meditate on how to wage war against Satan or fight him back. Job does not see Satan as a player here but simply stands in God and on God and attributes his circumstance to he alone who orders his steps and who can change his situation.
Thus, accusers are a reality in life especially when there has never been bad intentions or actions on ones part to do wrong but things work out that way. If you encounter friends or relations like that of Job who will add salt to the injury, it remains to stand on the rock of salvation, refuse to be moved until HE speaks, intercede for the accusers while you also pray for yourself in a heart and mind of humility and repentance. Finally, it also goes without saying that as Christians we should refrain from being like Jobs three friends/wife and instead keep quiet if we have nothing positive to say or at least pray, praise and worship with those in difficult times.
Remember when accused, you can speak to God and God will speak for you. He may not speak on your timetable but you can rest assured that he got your back! Build that relationship now!