Summary: To proclaim God’s great mercy and forgiveness available to us.
God Cleanses His People
Purpose Statement: To proclaim God’s great mercy and forgiveness
available to us.
What would you say if I came to church tonight dressed in tattered and
dirty shorts and a t-shirt. My hair was all messed up and I didn’t have any
shoes on and I smelled like I fell in the sewer? I’m sure you would be
appalled. Suppose I didn’t even mention it or make any excuse for my
appearance, but acted as though everything was fine. You’d probably pull
me aside and see if something was wrong. You might ask if the plumbing in
the parsonage was working okay. I would be wrong for trying to come into
God’s house dressed like that. It is appropriate perhaps for the field, but not
for the church. This passage also deals with uncleanness. We see a picture
of Joshua, the high priest standing before God with similiar clothing on.
The significance of Joshua: Represents Israel
There was 2 great leaders in Zechariah’s day Joshua and Zerubbabel.
Joshua was the high priest and in this passage represents the spiritual
condition of the people. In vs.8 it says that Joshua and his associates were
symbolic of things to come. So, it’s important for us to look at what happens
to Joshua to determine what God wants to do with the nation of Israel.
The significance of the filthy garments:
vs.4- God takes away the filthy garment from Joshua. The filthy represents
his and the nations sins. He is unfit to come before the Lord. He is not
dressed properly. Most of the people in Zechariah’s day had been born in
Babylon. They hadn’t grown up in the temple. They didn’t have a rich
heritage with the Lord. They were spiritual babies in many ways. They had
not come to the point of being overcomers of sin.
God forgives by His grace and takes away the sin vs.4 and makes Joshua
acceptable in His sight by placing rich garments on him vs.4
In the 14th century, Robert Bruce of Scotland was leading his men in a battle
to gain independence from England. Near the end of the conflict, the English
wanted to capture Bruce to keep him from the Scottish crown. So they put
his own bloodhounds on his trail. When the bloodhounds got close, Bruce
could hear their baying. Then he headed for a stream that flowed through the
forest. He plunged in and waded upstream a short distance. When he came
out on the other bank, he was in the depths of the forest. Within minutes, the
hounds, tracing their master’s steps, came to the bank. They went no farther.
The English soldiers urged them on, but the trail was broken. The stream had
carried the scent away. A short time later, the crown of Scotland rested on
the head of Robert Bruce. The memory of our sins, prodded on by Satan, can
be like those baying dogs- but a stream flows, red with the blood of God’s
own Son. By grace through faith we are safe. No sin-hound can touch us.
The trail has been broken by the precious blood of Christ. The purpose of the
cross, someone observed, is to repair the irreparable.
This is by the grace and will of God. Joshua is silent during this time. He