Job 13:17-18 Listen carefully to my words; let your ears take in what I say. Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated.
In spite of all the false and hurtful accusations Job’s four ‘comforters’ were making against him, this God-fearing man knew that he had carefully searched his heart and knew that there was no known sin to spoil his fellowship with his faithful Creator. We, the readers, are informed of God’s opinion of him in the very first chapter: “Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no-one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.’”, and although Job was not aware of this, he was confident enough that the hardship he was enduring must have some explanation other than that it was punishment for his sinfulness.
How much more are we, this side of the Cross, able to say with greater confidence, “I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated”! “Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe; sin has left a crimson stain – he washed it white as snow.” (Elvina Hall).
John Newton, with his track record as a drunken, slave-trading blasphemer, would have been hard pressed to make a claim similar to Job’s, and yet, as one saved by God’s amazing grace, he was able to be confident in saying: “Bowed down beneath a load of sin, by Satan sorely pressed, by wars without and fears within, I come to thee for rest. Be thou my shield and hiding place, that, sheltered near thy side, I may my fierce accuser face, and tell him thou hast died!” Nevertheless, I guess there is a sense in which Job was also facing his accusers proleptically in a similar frame of mind, because he would later say, “I know that my REDEEMER lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.” (19:25).
The tricky thing for us is knowing how to let a watching/judging world know that the CONFIDENCE we have in our eternal salvation is because it does not depend on our performance, but solely on what JESUS HAS ACHIEVED FOR us by his atoning death as our SUBSTITUTE. Let us take every opportunity to let the world know that we are NOT (self-)righteous people, but we ARE undeserving sinners-saved-by-grace! That’s what John Newton knew he was – “I may my fierce accuser face [‘Satan’ literally means ‘accuser’], and tell him THOU hast died!”.