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.
The footnotes of my Bible tell me that the word translated as Satan can also mean Accuser. From the most holy to the least holy of believers, Satan accuses us. As Christ continually makes intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25), so, too, does Satan continually accuse us. What is both haunting and hopeful in his accusations is that they need not be false. The Accuser could simple recount what I have done on any given day and there is sin and transgression enough to condemn me. But Christ intercedes; steps between for me. Because He has paid for my sins and transgressions on the cross, He is willing and able to step up and dismiss all charges against me. Not because I did no wrong, but because my wrongs have been atoned for.
The footnotes also tell me that the word Satan could be translated as Adversary. In this morning’s verse, Satan stands at Joshua’s right hand. We still have the phrase “right hand man” in English and the person on our right is metaphorically supposed to be our strongest supporter and help. But it is the Adversary who weasels his way to Joshua’s right hand. I suspect he does the same to many a believer. Someone comes along who seems like they want to help; want to be a support and a stay for us. Instead, they end up weakening us. Maybe we win small victories and think that we can handle greater trials on our own. One of the things Sun Tzu wrote about war is that one must appear weakest where he is at his greatest strength and must appear to be losing right before he secures victory. Our Adversary knows this tactic well and uses it to his best advantage.
Application. The Accuser is going to accuse me. He will accuse me to God and God, because of Christ’s work on the cross, is able to dismiss the charges. The Accuser will accuse me to me. If God has already dismissed the charges, I need to do likewise. If I have not yet repented of that thing, then I must repent and move forward. The Adversary is going to come against me. He may, as it was phrased in the movie Serenity, “Sidle up and smile, hit you where you’re weak.” Get inside my guard and make any defense or offense ineffectual. I need to remain vigilant and aware that he is no friend to me ever and he is never as helpless or weak as he seems. He is trying to draw me out; get me to commit to something that leaves me exposed.
It has been said that the price of peace is eternal vigilance. The price of peace with God is the blood of Christ and vigilance on my part to not be deceived by the Adversary and to repent and be made right with God so that the Accuser’s accusations are refuted.