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.…
This vision is of less obvious interpretation than the preceding, perhaps for the reason that its truth lies nearer the deepest throbbings of the human heart. A sense of sin and a feeling of hopeless ill desert are among the deepest emotions of a heart that has been touched by the Holy Spirit. This is the ever-recurring state of the heart both individually and collectively, because it rests on the ever-during relations that connect man with God. A sense of sin fairly awakened produces despair if we are thrown back on the resources of reason. We cannot hope in God, for we tremble before His justice. Thus it was with the Jewish Church at this time. They felt that they had sinned, and hence had no ground in themselves to hope for God's favour. They knew that their priests had also been unfaithful, and hence they had no hope in them. Why, then, go forward with the temple, when both priest and people must defile rather than hallow its courts? These were the suggestions of Satan, to deter them from their work. God will not accept so vile and faithless a heart, so lame and mutilated a service as you render Him, says the tempter, therefore you had better abandon it all, and enjoy sin at least, if you cannot enjoy holiness. This brings us to the heart of the vision. It is designed to show the people of God that their personal demerit is no ground for distrusting the mercy of God, for He receives them not because of their own righteousness, but that of Another; and that at this particular period the unworthiness of the priesthood was no reason for their destruction and the overthrow of the temple, as they were typical, and the end of their instruction was not yet served.
(T. V. Moore, D. D.)
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.