Lord God, center my life in Your love today. May I be assured of Your presence with me.
Read Zechariah 3:1–10
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Lord, I trust in You to do what no-one else can do, in ways that no-one else can work, doing the wonders no-one else can perform” (Roy Lessin).
Our culture—rightly—has high expectations of its leaders. Sadly they are not always (often?) met, but, as Paul said in a different context, “who is equal to such a task?” (2 Cor. 2:16). Any leader with a sensitive heart knows the feeling of not just inadequacy, but also unworthiness. All of us, leaders or not, share the experience of both Job (Job 1; Rev. 12:10) and Joshua the high priest (1) who faced the accusations of Satan (the name means “adversary” or “accuser”—he acts like a prosecutor).
It’s likely that Joshua’s leadership was under attack. Perhaps those who stayed in Judah and didn’t go to Babylon saw him as tainted by his time in exile. Whatever the reason, this vision was addressing a serious problem. In it, Joshua was ritually unclean, standing before the Lord in clothes which were literally filthy (4) rather than in the proper garments (Exod. 28). Humanly—and if Satan had his way—Joshua’s service would have been over, but this vision gives us a remarkable glimpse of the Gospel which was yet to be fully revealed.
God himself takes charge. First he rebukes Satan (2). Who does he think he is to accuse one who has been “snatched from the fire” (2), chosen and rescued by God (Rom. 8:33)? Then he deals with Joshua’s sin, providing the clean garments necessary for him to stand in his presence (4,5). Finally he renews Joshua’s call to service (7)—his uncleanness is not terminal! There is one more thing. God promises to send his servant, the Branch (8; Isa. 4:2–6), who will remove the sin of all the people (9). Isn’t this the Gospel, God taking the initiative and dealing with our deepest need?
Are you feeling battered by Satan’s accusations? How can Joshua’s experience encourage you?
Gracious Lord, today I am reminded that the Gospel is good news! The hymn says it so well: “In my place condemned he stood. Hallelujah, what a Savior” (P. P. Bliss, 1838–1876).
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