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The Confidence of the Righteous

Job 13:15-18; 19:23-29

Job makes a sobering statement that the Church should listen to carefully. “He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.” Job is simply stating that even though others do not believe me, God will prove my integrity to be genuine for He will hear me and bless me and everyone knows that God will not tolerate the company of a hypocrite. It is not safe to play the part of an unregenerate person who is acting and claiming to be born again. Many do, some because of ignorance, some because of pride, and others because of a dishonest heart. But do we really understand what it means to be a hypocrite? A good look at the Hebrew word and its usage will be very helpful to our understanding of this concept.

The Hebrew word for hypocrite is hanep. It literally means to be defiled, polluted, profaned or corrupt. While we often think of the word as only meaning someone who is deceptive or who is acting out a part that is not genuine, this word points a the cause of the problem. The culprit is not misinformation, bad environment or poor training but rather a corrupt heart.

The main idea for hanep is to incline away from right. It refers at times to land that is polluted for various reasons. It includes breaking the laws of God and breaking His covenant which lead to a moral and spiritual pollution of the land. Five of the times that it is used in Job it indicates that the hypocrite is a godless man – one who forgets God and lives a life of sinfulness.

A different twist to the meaning of the word is found in Psalms. The Psalmist David talks about the upside-down character of godlessness. He likens the hypocrite to the coarse jesting that takes place among the godless at their times of feasting and revelry.

(Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

Dr. Gayle Woods

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