Friday, November 18, 2022

Gang Rape and False Accusations

Suggested Reading: Job 17:1-16

A few years ago, the Duke University lacrosse team was accused en masse of gang raping a female student at the university. No one wanted to be seen with them. No one wanted to stand up for them. Such an accusation was so despicable that no one wanted to have anything to do with them. Because of the accusations, the players suffered massive consequences. The entire team was suspended and their season forfeited. The team's coach was forced to resign. Then, later, the accuser recanted, admitting she had made up the entire story. But for those months and months when the accusations were still out there, I have often wondered what it was like for the members of that team, to be falsely accused of a terrible crime with no one willing to stand up and defend them. I've wondered how I would handle a similar set of circumstances.

But Job did encounter similar circumstances. When God, making a statement about how good and faithful Job was, allowed Job to lose everything he had, his closest friends concluded that Job must have some terrible, secret sin that was so horrendous God had no choice but to punish him for his transgressions. No matter how many times Job denied any  wrongdoing, no matter how many times his friends failed to come up with a single example of sin in Job's life, they persisted in the accusations. Finally, Job cried out to God, "You must defend my innocence, O God, since no one else will stand up for me. You have closed their minds to understanding but do not allow them to triumph" (Job 17:3-4, NLT).  In the middle of his difficult circumstances, the only thing left for Job to do was to plead for God to defend him. 

Twenty-five chapters later, God does stand up for Job. God says to Job's friends, "I am angry with you…for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has. So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf" (Job 42:7-8, NLT).  God waited until the proper time, but when that time arrived, God himself stood up for Job and not only vindicated him but indicted those who had falsely accused Job. God even told the accusers that they would have to go through Job in order to be right with God again!

Whatever your circumstances, whatever false accusations are being made against you, however your character may be deceptively maligned at the moment, rather than trying to force your adversaries to acknowledge their lies or own up to their agendas, turn your case over to God. Ask God to stand up for you and to defend your case. God may not step in at the moment of your choosing, but when the time is right God will vindicate those who have been falsely accused. When no one else will stand up for you, God always stands by and holds up those who trust him. 

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