A Burning Stick, Snatched From the fire!
Scripture reading for September 29th: Zechariah 3-4
When we face an impossible looking task for the Lord, we begin to take inventory of our resources. We check our bank account to see how much money we have; we check our physical and mental abilities to solve the problem; we consult those who might help us with the work to see if we have enough manpower to do the job we look at all the obstacles and see how the task might be accomplished. God’s people and their leaders faced a task that looked impossible: the rebuilding of the temple and of Jerusalem! God sent visions to Zechariah to expand their resources and bring encouragement!
The second of eight visions pictured Joshua, the high priest, standing before the Lord, and Satan there accusing him. The Lord rebuked Satan and spoke of Joshua as a burning stick snatched from the fire!(Zechariah 3: (Jude 22,23) He then ordered Joshua’s filthy clothes to be removed and clothed him in clean garments. Joshua was told that if he walked in the Lord’s ways and kept His requirements, he would govern God’s house and have a place among those standing there by the throne of God.
In this vision, Joshua the high priest was symbolic of things to come. God would send His servant, the Branch, and would remove the sin of Israel in a single day. Wow! Zechariah is getting vision of things to come that we now see and understand! Jesus Christ was the servant of the Lord who was sent by God. He was and is the Son of God. He fully obeyed all of God’s requirements and walked in His ways. He became sin and was made like the burning stick, under the fires of God’s judgment for us. God raised Him from the dead, snatching Him from the fire, and seated Him at His right hand! In obeying His Father, Jesus Christ removed the sin from the land and from all people in one day!
And that wasn’t all of the visions from the Lord. Next, Zechariah saw a golden lamp stand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it. There were two olive trees standing on either side of the bowl. Zechariah again asked for understanding. “So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord.” (Zechariah 4:6) God was again giving vision to those leading the rebuilding. It was not their might, power, or ability that would accomplish the task. God would bless their efforts and He would see it through by His Spirit!
As I reflect on this last vision, I see the church as the lamp stand and the lights in the world. The Spirit is the oil that brings the energy for the work and light. God’s anointed leaders help with the dispensing of the anointing oil as they live by faith and do their assigned jobs! Their lives of faith reflect God’s Glory and the work goes forward! It may seem like our work is small–only a plumb line to measure the progress! Don’t despise it– live by faith in the power of His Spirit! The mountain will become a plain!