“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by. And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured Joshua, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”” Zechariah 3:1-10
We read this passage last night in our women’s Bible study group. We were going through the Trading Faith chapter of Crazy Faith by Michael Todd. He was talking about how Joshua’s dirty rags were traded for clean garments by God. We are all afforded that same opportunity by God. It’s funny, when I originally read the book, I skimmed right over this passage.
I reread this passage, even as our speaker continued on through the lesson. It just seemed to jump off my screen. The things that stood out to me were random at best; sometimes you just recognize there is more for you.
I started noticing that while Satan was accusing Joshua, he was standing next to Joshua, not the angel of the Lord. I don’t know why in my mind, I have given Satan more of a place of authority. This day instead of seeing him as someone with the ear of God or even as the attorney bringing charges, I see it is more like People’s Court, plaintiff vs defendant. The judge, the Lord, doesn’t even listen to the complaints. He just rebukes him.
The second thing that stood out is Joshua was the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord in filthy rags. There was such a protocol for the high priests on approaching the Lord, this just wouldn’t happen. Often times we put religious leaders on a pedestal, but here the high priest was in rags before the angel of the Lord. Maybe he didn’t see himself the way God did? Maybe he felt like he was dressed in his priestly garments? How many times have I went to the Lord in rags thinking “I’m all that” justifying myself through works? In the moment, not realizing it is only through the finished work of Christ I can approach God.
The third thing was despite the rags, Joshua still came. I am quick to distance myself from God when I see myself as filthy. Yet, Joshua came instead of hiding. He didn’t allow Satan to have his ear. Joshua went instead before the angel of the Lord. How much better off would my mind be if when the enemy came accusing I said “Let’s just take it to the Lord.”? I would quickly be reassured of whose I am and the position and authority I hold in Him.
What I received from this is that I have to stop elevating Satan. He is not on the same level as God. He is not even close. His accusations come from the same level I am on, and the Lord doesn’t even want to listen to them. He knows they are covered by the finished work of Christ, so I don’t need to listen to them either. Instead of shrinking back, I just need to say “let’s go talk to the Father about it.” When the enemy comes accusing. I need to recognize my works are still filthy rags. They don’t make me worthy to go before the Lord, on Jesus does. When I can get before the Lord instead of hearing the enemy’s lies that steal, kill and destroy I will find that I can trade those insecurities for my secure position in Christ as a child of the Most High!!!