Summary: Zech. 3:1-3 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.
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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? 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.
Notice that Joshua is standing before the Angel with the devil at Joshua’s right hand. Now, the scene we’ve been taught and told, and made to believe is “that of an angel on one side and a devil on the other side, both trying to influence us; “the angel telling us to do right, and the devil trying to convince us to do wrong”. That’s one of those manipulative lies the devil created and would have us believe. The Lord nor His ministering spirits (Angels) stand at the side of people, the Lord is Sovereign, and He does not stand to the side of man playing tug of war with the devil for man’s soul. Whenever, you read in your Bible an angel appearing unto man, it’s never at the side of man but before, and man usually falls down and prostrate themselves before the Lord or His messenger. It’s is but the devil that appears at the side of man to resist us, to persuade us, to accuse us. God is sovereign, and both we and the devil are always before Him.
The reference “Angel of the Lord” is but a theophany of Christ or the manifestation of Christ that appeared to Zechariah, that’s why the following verse says, “And the Lord said…”
However, we’re not going to get into the doctrine of theophany today, but if you want to know more about it, you can email me at bhad@FITW.org and I will be glad to go over it with you.
But, what we see is the High Priest Joshua standing before the Lord, and satan is standing at Joshua’s right hand. And, as we know, the Bible uses a lot of symbolism to express and convey meanings. The symbolism of “the right hand” is very important for us to understand. Ps. 16:8 says,
I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.
The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! 16 The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
God inspired Isaiah to write “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you” (Isaiah 41:13)
The meaning of right hand is very significant in scripture. The Holy Bible is where the saying, "right hand man" comes from. The right hand means the person that is position in a place of one’s authority, power, honor, favor and blessings, the #1 next to the boss...like Joseph was the right hand man of the pharaoh in Egypt.
Scripture tells us that Jesus, when He ascended back unto heaven, sat at the right hand of the Father, which had nothing to do with seating arrangement. It meant He sat in the place of the Father's authority, sovereignty, power and honor.
So, we see that "the right hand" symbolizes the place of authority, sovereignty, power, honor, favor, blessings and influence.
Now, the logical question we must ask, is why was satan standing at the right hand of the high priest Joshua? A place of authority, power, honor, favor, influence. The answer to that question is contained in the very same verse, it says “satan”, which means great accuser, the opposer, was standing at his right hand to resist Joshua. The Hebrew word resist is guess what? – ?????? (saw-tan') satan; meaning, to bring accusations. Did you get that, Zech 3:1 says satan, was doing satan. The accuser was accusing. So, satan standing at Joshua’s right hand tells us the accuser stood in a place of assumed, and I say assumed, authority, power and influence over and in the lives of Joshua, and God’s people, to accuse them.