God’s Mercy on Display
The book of Zechariah, a prophet, is set after the return of the exile from Babylon to Jerusalem. Zechariah is hoping to motivate the people to return and rebuild the temple. He’s providing encouragement by pointing to the future of God’s deliverance through the Messiah.
Sisters, I know when reading through the Bible, there are some stories and books of the Bible that feel more interesting than others. I’ve personally spent many hours reading through stories that I simply do not understand. Sometimes, I walk away not even absorbing what I have read. This next section is one of those Scriptures for me, but God placed the following verse, specifically on my heart earlier this year, and my hope is it blesses you too.
At the beginning of Zechariah, he is describing eight different night visions, or dreams, God revealed to him. We are going to focus on just a sliver of one dream that can serve as an encouragement to us all.
Zechariah 3:1-4 says, “Then he showed me [Zechariah] Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”
The word etched on my heart earlier this year was mercy. It would have been easy to glance over this piece of Zechariah’s story. Instead, God revealed to me how this is a beautiful display of His mercy. In short, Zechariah’s vision graphically portrays how we receive God’s mercy.
First, we do nothing ourselves. The filthy clothes in this vision represent our sin. Just like Joshua, God removes our filthy clothes. But here’s the joyful news; He doesn’t just remove our sin. God provides us with new, clean, rich, garments. This is the righteousness and holiness of God. All we need to do is repent and ask God to forgive us.
However, Satan is a creative master. Satan wants us, as believers, to feel dirty, unworthy, and useless. He wants us to believe that we can clean up our dirty garments ourselves. He wants us to believe that sitting in our own sin is better. But the truth is, we don’t carry the weight of our sin. Our Savior, Jesus, took our sin to the cross and died on our behalf. We cannot clean ourselves up, but Jesus can and has by His grace.
Each day starts anew. Therefore sister, with every morning, we must remind ourselves that we live in a broken world and are all sinful. We need Jesus, not only in our hearts as our Savior, but also in our day-to-day life as the only One who makes us clean. So today, and every day, we repent of our sins, ask God to forgive us, and walk in our rich garment.
Because of Jesus, you, my friend, are radiant.
Follow our Contributing Writer - Rocky Bush