“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?’ ” ~ Zechariah 3:1-2
Here Zechariah was shown a vision like a heavenly courtroom where Satan, the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), was opposing Joshua, the high priest of the people, before the Judge, God the Father. But notice that they were also standing before the Angel of the LORD. Jesus was present.
We are told that after Jesus came to this earth and died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God, where He makes intercession for us. Jesus is continually praying for and defending us, even as Satan accuses and attacks us.
Here in Zechariah, though Jesus had not yet come as Messiah and Saviour, He was still in the presence of God the Father, before the throne.
God the Father spoke up against Satan: “The LORD rebuke you, Satan!”
I like what Pastor Chuck Smith had to say about this:
“Now I do feel that in the scriptures we do have a pattern when we are dealing with Satan. That is, of not directly dealing with him. I’ve heard people say, ‘I rebuke you, Satan.’ And every time I hear them say that, I shudder. Because I am certain that he is saying, ‘Paul I know, Jesus I know, who are you?’…I think you would be better off to just say, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan, in the name of Jesus.’ I always like to keep the Lord between me and Satan. I feel so much safer when I do.”
Satan only has as much power as God allows him to have. However, let us not take him lightly, for he is very dangerous. He is the great dragon (Revelation 12-13) who prowls like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). We are definitely safer when keeping God between us and Satan! When we are hidden in Jesus Christ, we are protected from the accuser.
” ‘Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?’ ” Not only had Jerusalem and God’s people been “plucked from the fire” of the Babylonian captivity, but Joshua had been chosen by God to be set apart and to serve as high priest for the nation.
This applies to those of us who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as well.
As Matthew Henry said:
“A converted soul is a brand plucked out of the fire by a miracle of free grace, and therefore shall not be left to be a prey to Satan.”
Oh joy! Not only are we defended from the accusations of Satan, but we are also defended from the attacks of Satan! We are plucked from the fire and placed in the presence of the Almighty God, set apart to Him! 🙂
There is much more in the next few verses of Zechariah 3 that I hope to write about tomorrow. But know this, Christian, we have God between us and Satan, and we can rest in that knowledge!