Jesus was the apotheosis of courage. Imagine being perfect yet choosing to ignore the false charges of corrupt accusers! Jesus let His character be assassinated without defending Himself. He accepted His own murder without the need to exact revenge. Instead, He entrusted Himself to His Father's hands--to be publicly humiliated by the very people He came to save. If anyone had the right to call down forces from heaven it was Christ. By thought alone He could have called out legions of angels. They didn't have to pack duffel bags or get Anthrax shots before deploying! No force on earth could have stopped them. Yet, the Son of Man submitted to God's will. The Holy Spirit would come after to vindicate Him. The pierced One rose to eternal glory.
There is little joy in suffering for being right. Just ask Job. The man Satan afflicted with God's permission, must have felt like the world's first dart board. Even his best friends confidently stated that he was a man steeped in sin therefore deserving to suffer. Yet no matter what they concluded he wrestled for innocence. He said to them, “Now then, I have prepared my case; I know that I am right”(Job 13:18).
Job's confidence in his blamelessness ran deep to the point He challenged God to produce evidence of his unrighteousness. But God was not concerned with Job's need to be exonerated. He said, “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? . . . Would you really challenge My justice? Would you declare Me guilty to justify yourself? (40:2,8).Then He reminded his suffering follower of His awesome power as Creator and sovereign Lord. After hearing God speak, Job humbly said, “I take back my words and repent in dust and ashes” (42:6).
When he relinquished his right to be vindicated, God responded by blessing him with twice as much as he had before. (Job 40:1-4,8; 42:6,10)
Jesus and Job teach us valuable lessons. The next time we feel the need to justify ourselves, to be cleared of unfair accusations, we should remember what Jesus did. Is He concerned with our prideful need to be right? Or is His desire that we trust in His sovereignty regardless of what we encounter? Before we manufacture proof of our correctness, let’s pray, “God, am I willing to leave my reputation and need for justice in Your hands?” Something to think about . . . in reveration.
1 Timothy 3:16--And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
St. Augustine prayed, “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.”—Oswald Chambers in Baffled to Fight Better
©1999 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)