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Summary: Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks upon the heart.

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Rev. Wayne A. Lawson

Pastor, First Baptist Church

Ardmore, OK 73402

Pastor@firstbaptist.org

(Preached Sunday, July 21, 2002)

SCRIPTURE: ZECHARIAH 3:1-4

1 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. 2

And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even

the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand

plucked out of the fire? 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy

garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And he answered and spake

unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy

garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused

thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change

of raiment.

TITLE: YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

One of the many lessons I have learned while on this Christian

journey is that although you are only allowed one opportunity to

make a First Impression -- the first impression is not always a

lasting impression. I have learned not to simply look at those that

make up the household of faith and make quick judgments. I have

learned that those who portray themselves as Spiritual Giants later

on down the road end up being Spiritual Midgets. Those that I

tagged as Babes in Christ, turned out to be Faith Walkers, yes, I

have learned You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover. I have learned

that people have the tendency to put on a mask. Ordinarily we are

not able to see the real person, until they let their guard down.

Ever look at your child when they come through the door and you can

tell something is wrong, something is bothering them because of that

certain look on their face. You ask them "What’s the Matter?" --

they respond "Nothing." Ever watch your spouse come in from work

and you can tell something went wrong during the course of the day

because of that tension in their face. You know something is

bothering them but they respond "Nothing." Their body language and

their verbal communication are at war one with the other.

We find this struggle unfolding in our text read in our hearing.

Zechariah is somewhat a quite book as it pertains to preaching

material. He was a contemporary of the Prophet Haggai. He began

his prophetic ministry in 520 B.C. The name Zechariah was a common

one in the Old Testament, 29 persons having borne it. It means "The

Lord Remembers." He was the 11th of the 12-Minor Prophets. The

book of Zechariah contain 8-visions that came to the prophet,

interestingly enough all appeared during the night. This vision

that he had witnessed in this 3rd Chapter is very exciting as it

virtually leaps from the pages, we can almost feel the struggle in

this text. Let’s consider Vs. 1 again -- "AND HE SHEWED ME JOSHUA

THE HIGH PRIEST STANDING BEFORE THE ANGEL OF THE LORD…" Before

further development of this text it is important that we all

understand who Joshua was in this text. I have heard many

misidentify who this High Priest was.

- Not Joshua the son of Nun

- Not the victorious commander of the Israelites in their battle

against the Amelekites

- Not the Assistant and Successor of Moses

- We know that Joshua that served for Moses was not a High Priest-

he was a warrior

This Joshua that Zechariah had seen in the vision was - Joshua the

son of Jehozadam- he was a High Priest that served in the time of

the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. Go forward one book to HAGGAI

1:1 "IN THE SECOND YEAR OF DARIUS THE KING, IN THE SIXTH MONTH, IN

THE FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH, CAME THE WORD OF THE LORD BY HAGGAI THE

PROPHET UNTO ZERUBBABEL THE SON OF SHEALTIEL, GOVERNOR OF JUDAH, AND

TO JOSHUA THE SON OF JOSEDECH, THE HIGH PRIEST…"

This Joshua tucked away in history of Old Testament was a High

Priest and he is seen in this vision rightfully standing before the

angel of the Lord. After all he was God’s man while walking on the

earth, he dedicated his life to serving God’s people and training

them in the word and ways of God. Where else should he be found

after drawing his last breath on this side -- Where else should he

be found but standing before the Angel of the Lord -- Where else

should he be found but standing on Threshold of Heaven. It too is

our expectation since we are walking on that straight and narrow

path to one day be found Walking the Streets Paved with Gold. But

wait a minute, the text goes on - it did not stop there, it goes on

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