Daily Thought for: 7th July

JOSHUA—THE HIGH PRIEST

Zechariah 3

It was a sad vision of Joshua the high priest that was given to Zechariah. We notice that, in the return from Babylon, Joshua’s name is always linked with Zerubbabel, the governor. Whatever assurances and commands God gave he shared. But in this prophetic picture we see him as high priest in filthy garments, without priestly mitre on his head. Added to his sorry state, we see Satan the adversary, standing on his right hand to resist him. This reminds us that Satan is always ready to hurt the Lord’s servants when they are troubled—he will take every opportunity to accuse and degrade. But rebuke was swift in coming from the Lord; ‘a brand plucked from the burning’. How gracious the Lord is with our faults and failings. 

There is more than this in the vision. Joshua stands as a representative of a defiled priesthood and a sinful nation. As high priest, he should have been clothed with garments of glory and beauty. Soiled garments do not become one who would enter the sanctuary of God. His condition was a picture of God’s people, who, although they had returned from exile, bore the stains of sins contracted in Babylon. We have no record of priestly service during the exile, and it tells us something of the tragedy of captivity. 

The command for cleansing came. ‘Take away the filthy garments from him’. Iniquity would be cleansed away, and clean garments provided. Priesthood demanded a sanctity that only the Lord could provide. It is good to reflect that Israel would not only return to their land, but would be restored to fellowship with God, Zech. 12. 10; 13. 1-2. We remember that it is only as those who are cleansed by the blood of Jesus that we can enter the holiest, and enjoy fellowship with God. 

Thus, Joshua was not only cleansed but crowned. It is then that he is claimed for God’s service again. What can this mean for us today? Those of us who are saved and cleansed, God claims for highest service to Him. We are established in Christ, anointed by God and given the earnest of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, 2 Cor. 1. 21-22. Wonderful possibilities of worship and service are open to each of us. 

 

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