I am so tempted to take things into my own hands. Reading through Jude during a men’s Bible study that no one showed up for (I’m popular, I know), verse 9 stood out to me, with an underlying question of “Who are you to judge?”:
“But even the archangle Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
This led me over to Zecharaiah 3:1-2, which reads:
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angle of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
What stood out to me in these verses was the mix of integrity and humility. Under immense pressure from Satan, these men stood their ground, knowing their place of authority, yet not overstepping it.
How often, in my own folly, do I get amped up over an issue and approach the boundary line of my authority? Many times, only to learn that I was out of line, making judgements and statements of my opinion that weren’t mine to give, but the Lord’s.
As Christ-followers, I don’t believe we need to be the first to throw stones. I don’t believe we need to be the first to stand on the side of the reproachers and accusers. Satan is “the accuser”, though he has no authority to judge — we are wise to not to stand in his place becoming unrighteous accusers ourselves.
The Good News
Great news follows us in Zechariah’s story. In the following verse, Zechariah 3:3 says:
“Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood beofre the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’
Then he said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.'”
What a beautiful and glorious reminder! Though we are accused, the one who has the right to both accuse and judge, namely Jesus Christ, has taken away our sin and placed rich garments on us.
- Are you standing in the place of the accuser? Have you unrightfully placed judgement on those that you have no authority to judge? Other Christians? Other non-believers?
- Have you condemned that which is only the Lord’s to condemn, namely, yourself? If God, Himself, is offering you forgiveness and freedom from condemnation through belief in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for you, what right do you have to continue condemning yourself?
Step into freedom. Join me in conversation via the comments; I’d love to introduce you to a savior who doesn’t mock, accuse and condemn, but instead sacrifices Himself for His followers.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”