PRAY FOR A RETURN OF PURITY AND DIGNITY AMONG US
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”
Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.
The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
Israel had just returned from Babylon. Prophets Haggai and Zechariah were bringing a Word of restoration to a people who, through the years of reckless living and the consequent decades of slavery had lost much – personally and corporately. Striped of their personal dignity and national symbols of security, preservation and identity such as the walls, their houses and The Temple that had been built by Solomon, theirs was a huge backlog of building just to get to where the city once was.
Nothing can be as disheartening as working to rebuild what was once so well established at a time when resources are not even a fraction of what they were when the original project was constructed.
But their dignity depended on the rebuilding of walls, dwellings and the temple. By this time the walls were up – through the able leadership of Nehemiah and the next phase was to have decent living quarters for people in the city while the rebuilding of the main project, The Temple, continued. The foundations were laid with great excitement and celebration but soon thereafter project stalled completely. Years went by and the building site? pitiful and deserted. The Problem? Everyone was concentrating on their family dwellings, and they were doing a good job at it. Paneled houses, for sure GOD who wanted them restored to their former glory would understand. Besides, the main project demanded too much resources if it were to come any close to the original.
Two decades later, they hit a snag. They are struggling under circumstances they can’t really explain. Although pushing hard, There’s very little to show for it. So much so, even the little they have achieved stands threatened by the regressive mode they find themselves in. That’s when the ministry of Haggai and Zechariah come to their rescue by putting things in perspective.
They were expected to prioritize GOD, and that they’d show it by letting their hard work and resourcefulness benefit the temple FIRST! Then the Blessings to propel them forward in all their endeavors would remain.
But it was not a physical Temple only that was in shambles. They’re spiritual leadership was cornered by a relentless accuser – satan himself. Their priests could not minister before a Holy GOD with confidence because of “soiled garments.” You will remember that a priest’s garments were ‘for beauty and dignity.’ And that was lacking in their lives. satan’s incessant accusations were not helping.
That’s when GOD sent this relief to His People through prophet Zechariah.
It’s a very telling scenario: Whenever we stand before GOD the enemy wants to intercept by bringing to our attention a sense of guilt. But Praise be to Jesus because;
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
1. GIVE THANKS THAT satan’s ACCUSATIONS AGAINST YOU ARE BEING DROWNED BY GOD’S REDEEMING LOVE
The devil who is throwing up nauseating accusations against you to undermine your much needed confidence in the priestly duty of Prayers and Praise is NO MATCH to the Gracious GOD who’s on your side.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
2. GIVE THANKS FOR HIS SANCTIFYING WORK OF THE SPIRIT IN YOUR LIFE –
THAT GOD IS GIVING YOU CLEAN PRIESTLY GARMENTS
1 Thessalonians 5:23
And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
3. GIVE THANKS THAT DOMINION / THE ABILITY TO REIGN IN LIFE IS COMING BACK TO YOU
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!