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Satan – the accuser

Then he showed me Yehoshua the high priest standing before the angel of YHVH, and the Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. And YHVH said to the Satan: “YHVH rebukes you, Satan! Indeed, YHVH, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you! Is not this man a firebrand snatched from the fire?” – Zechariah 3:1-2.

We are today witnessing an undercurrent and spirit of accusation flying back and forth at a rate and volume and fury of enmity nearly unprecedented. Internationally, accusations are aimed at Jews in general and at Israel in particular, in the USA at conservatives and Christian bakers and artists, and at a US president and a Supreme Court nominee, sadly dividing friends, families, genders and nations. For those of you who do not believe in the Devil (aka: Satan, the Accuser, the Father of Lies, the Serpent), let me assure you with a certainty that he actually does exist. Allow me to explain.

Satan in Hebrew means ‘accuser’, as in a prosecuting attorney. It is derived from the infinitive verb l’hastine, ‘to accuse and denounce as an adversary’, and the noun sitna, ‘accusation’. The Bible is set up as an ancient legal document such as a will, with inheritance of the Father to whom all belongs to his sons, the conditions of inheritance, a contesting of the will, the history of the inheritance defined, and a final day in court to determine the outcome. In that form, a prosecuting attorney is engaged, along with a defense attorney provided. The prosecutor is the Satan, the defense attorney is the Messiah.

In the 12th chapter of the Book of Revelation we see that same Accuser launching a flood of accusations against Israel back in her own land, which brings us to this very day and moment’s headlines for all to see.

On that final Day of Judgment the Satan stands to accuse the one in the docket, unrolling his long scroll of detailed and accurate accusations prepared before the court. He is described as the slickest and craftiest in his field (Genesis 3:1), and applies his tactics without mercy and with a cleverness unequalled, an expert in the Law. For those who have agreed to accept council of the Defense Attorney, Jesus, his or her case is well defended. Being also an expert in the Law, the Defense Attorney cannot deny the accusations but, in divine mercy, has agreed to pay the full penalty of the accused transgressions of the Law.  The Judge, who happens to be the Father of the Defense Attorney, accepts that payment in full, and the accused is declared innocent and set free to enjoy the long rewards of judicial mercy and divine pardon in much gratitude. Those who have refused council stand accused, alone in their own defense, and terminate accused and condemned by their own words, to pay in full the penalty as defined by the code of Law.

In the 12th chapter of the Book of Revelation we see that same Accuser launching a flood of accusations against Israel back in her own land, which brings us to this very day and moment’s headlines for all to see.

It would seem, therefore, great wisdom to employ that defense Attorney at one’s earliest opportunity against that day in court, which will surely arrive on its fixed date, be it sooner or be it later. It is a divine fairness and mercy offered freely to those willing to receive and repent, and thus affordable to the very least and to the very greatest.

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Elhanan ben-Avraham
Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published two illustrated books of poetry, and painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.

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