Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sabbath, November 5, 2016
“Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel” (Zechariah 3:3).
It is a solemn experience to appear before the Lord. When we consider the extreme contrast in holiness, it is intimidating. He is absolutely holy to the point of being called a consuming fire. We are poor, wretched, miserable, blind, and naked. How is it that He is willing to dwell with us? Why don’t we die instantly? These questions and more are answered in the story of Joshua and his accuser.
The high priest Joshua appeared before the angel of the Lord with the devil standing by to accuse him. Immediately, God’s indignation was kindled against the accuser. “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). Joshua was one redeemed by the Lord, therefore, the accuser had no case. All that was necessary for a sinner to be made righteous was laid to his account.
“Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And 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” (Zechariah 3:3-4).
The Lord saw Joshua’s need of cleansing, which was represented by filthy garments, and chose to supply his need, rather than rebuking him. He demonstrated in a tangible way, His unwillingness to let a sinner die in his sin without giving him the privilege of being in a saving relationship with Himself. The filthy garments of iniquity that separated between them were replaced by clean ones. These garments represented the righteous life of Christ, which was to come in the future. As a guarantee, by faith, God gave Joshua the righteous covering of salvation.
I thank God that He does not allow the devil to enumerate my sins and make a solid case for my destruction. When we have faith in the perfect life, sacrifice, and heavenly ministry of Jesus Christ, and are willing to live according to the light of God’s word, He sees it as an opportunity to bestow the blessing of righteousness. Having received the righteousness that is of God by faith, we have peace with God. We verily have received the gift of eternal life and nobody can bring a railing accusation against us. We have indeed passed from death to life.