Highlights In Today's Reading:
Another prophet of God, another warning (1:1-6). Zechariah has a difficult night's sleep as the Lord sends him ten visions! Some concern Jesus, others the end times (1:7-17; 1:18-19; 1:20-21; chapter 2; 3:1-7; 3:8-10; chapter 4; 5:1-4; 5:5-11; chapter 6). If the heart is right, fasting is right; if the heart is wrong (7:1-7), fasting is of no spiritual value (vss 8-14)!
The situation was critical. The high priest Joshua (not the Joshua who was used of God to conquer the promised land) was ministering to Jehovah in filthy garments symbolic of his own sins and the sins of the people (3:1-3). He stood unworthy and Satan, the accuser of our brethren (Revelation 12:10) was there to attack him. The devil will bring all sorts of accusations in an attempt to keep a guilty Christian from going to the Lord for forgiveness and cleansing and believing God will accept him. He shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan (Zechariah 3:1-2).
The Lord said: I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee (3:4). The filthy garments are taken away; on Joshua's head is placed a white linen turban crown. He is cleansed and commissioned. Christ alone is the Intercessor between God and man, the Meditator (I Timothy 2:5).If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
The Source of victory is discovered when one continues to seek the Lord and worship Him. We are assured that Satan will flee from us. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you (James 4:7-8).
Did you ever feel too unworthy to come before the Lord? Do you sense Satan at your right side, seeking to prevent you from standing before the Lord, trying to persuade you that you are not God's child and acceptable before Him, not fit for His service? When we come to the end of our resources and lose confidence in our own abilities we learn to trust in the Lord. The work of God is not accomplished by might, nor by power (meaning by human intelligence, abilities, or finances), but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6-7). Yielding to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is an indispensable act in living a true Christian life or accomplishing the will of God.
All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus . . . to declare His righteousness for the remission of (all) sins that are past, through the forbearance (mercy) of God (Romans 3:23-25).
Thought for Today:
Sometimes people look at us as unusable and of no value to God. Aren't you glad He sees beyond what we are now to what we are to be in Christ?
As My Servant the BRANCH (Zechariah 3:8). Christ was brought into the world in the fulness of the time (Gal. 4:4), and took upon Him the form of a servant (Phil. 2:7). But He will soon return as the Righteous Branch to reign as King (Jer. 23:5).
1:15 forward the affliction =b> increase and worsen your affliction; 1:19 horns =b> world powers; 1:21 fray =b> terrorize; 3:5 mitre =b> turban; 5:1 roll =b> God's Word was written on parchment or skins then rolled up.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Miss Pauline L. Carnahan • Country: Guinea (8 million) on the Atlantic coast of western Africa • Major languages: French and tribal languages • Freedom for nationals, but strict limitations on missionaries • 83% Muslim; 12% tribal religions; 4% Roman Catholic; .6% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Seek the guidance of God in meekness (Psa. 25:9).
Memory Verse for the Week: James 5:10