by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? (Zechariah 3:2).
1And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
2And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
3Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
4And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
5And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.
6And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,
7Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
8Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
9For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
10In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.
The prophet Zechariah saw in a vision Joshua, the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord. And Joshua was clothed with filthy garments. The filthy garments represented his iniquity. Satan was standing at his right hand to resist him. What an impressive vision! The holy angel, Joshua polluted with sin, and Satan bringing accusations against him! Does it not look very serious for Joshua? Surely he knows he is guilty.
But listen: the angel speaks. "The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee; is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" Satan, no doubt, pointed to Joshua's filthy garments; but the angel refers him to the eternal covenant of God, to the fact that God had chosen Jerusalem. God had chosen to be merciful to his people. And the angel gives the command, "Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment."
"God justifies the ungodly." "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; but God clothes us with the garments of salvation and covers us with the robe of righteousness. Let us greatly rejoice.
O Lord, there is none righteous before Thee. We all have sinned, and have deserved Thy wrath, but we thank Thee that Thou justifieth the ungodly, and dost clothe them with the garments of salvation, and coverest them with the robe of Thy righteousness. O God, we rejoice in Thee, and praise Thy name. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Zech. 3:4; Rom. 4:5; 8:33, 34; Isa. 64:6; 61:10.
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