May 14, 2009
Lately, the Lord has been speaking to me about having a bible study and I’ve been dragging my feet. What if no one comes? God, I don’t know how to do that. A thousand other excuses come to mind. To be honest , I know this is God’s direction to me but the “what if’s” and the “I’m the least likely ones” have been holding me back and I’ve been plain miserable that’s how I know for sure it’s God.
When I’m not obedient God makes life a walk in the mud, he bogs me down until I can’t go anymore. When I was obedient and repented and took the first steps to organize things the ground became firm again.
Recently, I’ve been reading Zechariah 3. It’s an interesting scene that the Lord is revealing to the prophet and God has touched my heart with it. Many times we don’t see our sin in the way God sees it but his heart of compassion loves to cleanse us and give us freedom from the sin that takes us captive.
In Zechariah chapter 3, God shows Zechariah the man who is the high priest at that time named Joshua standing before God with the Angel of the Lord on one side and the Accuser (Satan) on the other. This scene is played out in each one of our lives, we all stand condemned….until…
Zech 3:1-7 (CJBV) reads as follows… “He showed me Joshua the cohen hagadol (high priest) standing before the angel of Adonai (my Lord) with the Accuser (Satan) standing at his right to accuse him. Adonai said to the Accuser, “May Adonai rebuke you, Accuser! Indeed, may Adonai, who has made Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) his choice, rebuke you! Isn’t this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
Joshua was clothed in garments covered with dung; and he was standing before the angel, who said to those standing in front of him, “Take those filthy garments off of him.”
Then to him he said, “See, I am taking your guilt away. I will clothe you in fine robes.” I said, “They should put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and gave him fine robes to wear, while the angel of Adonai stood by. Then the angel of Adonai gave Joshua this warning:
“Adonai-Tzva’ot (the Lord of heavens armies, the Lord of Hosts) says this: ‘If you will walk in my ways, obey my commission, judge my house and guard my courtyards; then I will give you free access among these who are standing here.”
What a beautiful picture of salvation, we stand before the Lord Almighty covered in dung. This was the high priest may I remind you. If any man wouldn’t need to be cleansed from guilt and shame surely it would be him but that is not the case. This was God’s chosen man to represent the people in His presence and he needed to be forgiven, delivered and cleansed.
Here he stands dirty and stinky before God, Satan his Accuser and the angel of the Lord. I love the imagery of a “burning stick snatched from the fire” this is so true of all of us. It doesn’t matter who you are or what “office” you hold we are all this way until we invite Jesus into our lives and he gives the order for us to be cleansed and fitted with fine robes.
I love how Zechariah chimes in and says, “put a clean turban on his head” and God obliges him. This is another picture of Jesus the Messiah that covers us and makes us clean and white.
Then Joshua is given a warning and a promise that if he walks in the ways of the Lord, obeys the commission given him and attends to the needs of God’s people and God’s house that he will be given free access to those he is standing among.
I was so encouraged by this today that God sees our sin and hears the accusations but his heart of compassion and righteousness says in Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,”says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
But even this scripture contains a promise and a warning as it goes on in verse 19 “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (NIV)
God is compassionate but he demands obedience.
Lord, thank you that when I stand before you covered with the dung of my sin you cleanse me give me fine robes and free access to you by the blood of your son Jesus. Thank you that you defend me against the Accuser of my soul. Amen.
May 14, 2009