Satan, Our Accuser
Zechariah 3: 1–“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.”
Do you think for a moment that Joshua, in this apocalyptic passage, is the only one that Satan ever accused? He is the great deceiver (Revelation 20: 3; 20: 10) and wouldn’t hesitate a moment to stand before God to accuse any of us as well.
Consider what he did about Job (Job 1: 6-12). He came before God and made light of Job’s devotion to God. He told God that Job would curse Him to His face if the pressure was really put on. Satan is the farthest thing from a positive thinker. Don’t ever think that Satan is offering you a good deal.
Satan wanted to be Jesus’ accuser. For just one occasion, please see Matthew 4: 1- 11. Satan
began each temptation with “If you are the Son of God . . .” Did He not know who Jesus was? If
He had gotten Jesus to give in to a temptation, do you think that after that, the Devil would have
had any doubt about who He had deceived? Not in the least! If there was still a world by now,
every day we would be hearing that Satan had bested God’s Son. Isn’t it the greatest of news to
hear that Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4: 15, 16)?
Satan goes about His dirty business as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5: 8). The vast majority of souls, he takes as a simple assault. He tempts them with a lust of the flesh, a lust of the eyes, or the pride of life, and zing! They’re gone just like that. (I John 2: 15-17). But He has to work at it harder to get the Christians to sin. It’s the same basic three-course menu–lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life–but he has to work at it harder because now the Christians have the Lord on their side.
It’s a substantial hedge that the Lord builds around His own. You may remember that in Job Satan complained that the Lord had built a hedge around him to protect him. Well, when we read I Corinthians 10: 13, we see that He builds one around us also. We have God’s guarantee that we will never be tempted beyond that which we will be able to bear.
Satan will attempt to penetrate that hedge by:
1. Directly trying to contradict God’s word, as He did with Eve (Genesis 3). For those who haven’t “studied to show themselves approved” (II Timothy 2: 15), that may work. The Lord’s church survives in each generation as a haven from temptation and a refuge from evil only by the strength of that generation’s knowledge of the Bible.
2. Trying to blow God’s commands out of proportion. Jeroboam did this (I Kings 12: 25-33) all the while acting religious. The implication of Jeroboam was that going to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices was too hard and too unreasonable, so he created a way for them to worship–worship idols!-at Bethel and Dan. Today, preachers “sell us down the river” by making all kinds of excuses for obedience. They say baptism is too hard and repentance from sin is too humiliating. They say that singing is too hard and find instruments. They make excuses for the spiritual laziness of men and put women in front of congregations to do the song leading, the praying, and even the preaching (see I Timothy 2: 12–that one’s a bad no-no).
3. By trying to make the way of the Lord appear homely. Satan will try to make us think we need a brass band and a costly tabernacle to compete with the other churches. He would just as soon we never know that the church of the first century disdained musical instruments in worship–even in situations where they could have afforded them–and that the church met in people’s houses (Romans 16: 5).
4. When all else fails, he will try to deceive by conceding that all of God’s commands are good, but what’s the rush? “Jesus isn’t coming back anytime soon! Eat, drink, and be merry!” he says. But hear the words of the Lord. Matthew 24: 3-14. This passage prophecies eerily of the natural phenomena and social conditions that exist right now. Satan doesn’t want us listening to the parable of the talents in Matthew 25: 14-30. He wants us to feel no sense of urgency.
So it’s time to ask: What has Satan done lately to try to become your accuser? What’s He got on you?
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