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.…
I. A GREAT ADVERSARY OF GOD'S PEOPLE BROUGHT BEFORE US. It is strange how every good work meets with resistance in this world. He Who would effect reforms, especially in religion, has to stand alone, at least, at first, with none enlightened or brave enough to give their support. "I am sometimes," wrote Robertson, "tempted to doubt whether any one who tries to open people's eyes in religion is to be reckoned as a sublime martyr or an egregious fool. The cross, or the cap and bells? Certainly, had it not been for One, I should say the cap and bells." Paul was accounted a fool for Christ." Wickliffe, Luther, and all great, reformers have borne the same antagonism, and many prophets have cried out, Who hath believed our report?"
"Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land!
All fear, none aid you, and few understand."Even in such a work as the rebuilding of the temple it was so. And the Bible lifts the veil and lets us see that behind the human actors there are malignant forces at work, — a truth which, though mysterious, is sustained by history and experience.
II. OPPOSED TO THE ADVERSARY IS THE FAITHFUL AND UNCHANGING GOD. While there is such conflict before truth and godliness prevail, yet the victory is sure. God's servants have to wrestle with principalities and powers, but greater is He who is for them than all who can rise up against them.
1. God's interposition is a restraining of evil. "The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan." He wounds the head of the dragon; puts checks upon the forces which threaten the Church and cause of Christ; turns the weapons forged against her into instruments of retribution to her enemies.
2. God encourages and aids His servants. Joshua is forgiven, clothed in festal garments, crowned with a clean mitre, assured of success, and promised future freedom of approach. There is enough of encouragement for those who take the Lord's side, if only they will use it.
III. THE PROMISE OF A DIVINE SAVIOUR AND KING. Every book of the Old Testament, either by word or type, predicts a coming Christ who is now arrayed in the attributes of God, and now represented as a suffering but conquering Servant. It was a promise which had many partial fulfilments in God's anointed servants before He was incarnated in Jesus. But Jesus was the Christ of whom others were only figures and signs. He was the Branch extolled by Isaiah, and predicted by Zechariah. The vision still points to a future in which all prophetic hopes will be fulfilled.
(T. Vincent Tymms.)
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.