And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.…
Here is represented unto the prophet Christ, who is the Lord, taking the defence of Joshua, and by His intercession (acting as the angel of the Lord) pleading that Satan may be rebuked, confounded, and restrained in his malicious and cruel design to destroy them whom God had chosen, and them who, having been almost consumed in trouble, were miraculously plucked out and preserved from total ruin. Doctrine
1. Christ, in His office of mediation and intercession, is the strong refuge of the Church against Satan, who is sufficient to oppose all his machinations, being Himself God equal with the Father, zealous for and affectionate to His people and their weal, and the Father being engaged to help Him and His by virtue of the covenant.
2. Albeit the ground of Satan's accusation of the Lord's people before God, and in their own consciences, may be true and just, yet his insatiable and cruel malice in prosecuting that controversy to their destruction, and casting out of God's favour, is so far from being Christ's allowance, that it is hateful unto Him, and will be effectually suppressed by Him. This is imported in His intercession — "The Lord rebuke thee," or restrain thy malice, and make void thy intention.
3. The Lord's election of and free love toward His people is that whereby they are allowed to answer Satan's temptations, which otherwise might be heavy upon them. And where the Lord hath chosen and purposed to do good unto a people He will also have a care of their ministers for their sake. This we are taught from Christ's first reason of intercession — "The Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee." God having chosen them, Satan's bill (how true soever) could not be heard to destroy them, or to reject Joshua their minister.
4. Though the people of God may be cast into painful and hard trouble, and may be kept in it till it come to some extremity that they may be purged, yet shall they certainly be rescued and brought out again; for so was it with Joshua, and this remnant, "a brand pluckt out of the fire," a stick half burnt, and yet thought worth the pulling out.
5. As the former afflictions of the Lord's people do so endear them to Christ's heart that He will not hear Satan's accusations, so His eminent appearing for them in trouble is a pledge that He will not destroy them, but perfect His work notwithstanding Satan's machinations; or this is the force of the second reason of Christ's intercession, "Is not this a brand pluckt out of the fire?" As if He had said, — Should My anger smoke yet against My people who are already almost consumed by it, and whereof they yet bear the marks? Should I not make an end of pleading with frail flesh and shall I prove so foolish a builder as when I have appeared, in bringing them out of consuming trouble, giving them a remnant to escape, I should again forsake them, and let all My pains be in vain?
Parallel VersesKJV: And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.