05/20/20 That They Could Not Prove

READING: 2 Samuel 7-8, 1 Chronicles 17, Psalm 132, Acts 25

We can assume that the enemy will aim his arrows at us if we choose to walk with God. That’s just what he does – and he often does it with accusations. In many cases, he has cause for being the accuser, as in the picture of the high priest Joshua in Zechariah 3:1-7. The Lord kept Satan silent in that case, but Joshua’s filthy garments still betrayed his sinfulness. Apart from God’s grace toward Joshua, the accuser would have had reason to accuse.

At the same time, though, the enemy often accuses through the lies of others. That’s the case in today’s New Testament reading, when Jews who had come from Jerusalem brought charges against Paul “that they could not prove” (Acts 25:7). They had no witnesses, and they had no evidence – but still they boldly stood up against the apostle. Apparently, truthfulness is irrelevant when you just want to take someone down. Paul, though, could in turn argue with integrity that he had not committed any of the crimes for which he was accused.

That’s the way all of us must live. In John Calvin’s words: “Note, too, that wicked people can never be held back but will slander good people, for they are like Satan, by whose spirit they are led. We are told to silence the wicked; this does not mean that anyone who behaves with integrity will be free from wrongful accusations, but that our life should remove all stain of false report.”* May God help us to live this way.

PRAYER: “Father, I commit to live in such a way that others have no grounds to accuse me.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Samuel 9-10, 1 Chronicles 18-19, Psalm 89, Acts 26

*John Calvin, Acts, Crossway Classic Commentaries, ed. J.I. Packer and Alistair McGrath (Wheaton: Crossway, 1995), Acts 25:7-8.