The Other Joshua

nick   January 16, 2017   Comments Off on The Other Joshua

Zechariah 3


Going to jump in at verse 3

The time of greatest accusation for Joshua was the very time of equipping and commissioning.

His name means Yahweh or God is salvation and is the same name as Jesus. Jesus is the Greek way of saying it and Joshua is the Hebrew.

It is a different Joshua to Joshua son of Nun the one who was Moses successor and led the people at the battle of Jericho.

What’s the historical situation? Israel have been in captivity in Babylon and now some have returned to the promised land. They returned to Jerusalem – what they found there was the walls of the city were broken down the temple and altar destroyed. In Ezra 5 it says that Zerubbabel and Joshua set to work to rebuild the house of god.

It was during this time period that Zechariah was prophesying. Mentioned in Ezra 5.

God’s desire  was for the people to return to the land, temple to be rebuilt, for temple worship to resume and for it again to be a place for his presence.

So what’s going on here in this passage? God is speaking about – Joshua being prepared for priesthood. As well as rebuilding the physical temple they needed to get the priesthood sorted out. Joshua as well as being one who is taking a lead in the work, is the high priest by birth.  His grandfather was HP at the time that Israel was taken into captivity and he was executed by Nebuchadnezzar. So Joshua was high priest by birth – he’s just not currently operating  as high priest.

Here is a man who has a calling that he is not fulfilling because of circumstances beyond his control. He cannot function as high priest at the moment because there is no temple. You can’t be a high priest without a temple (?) it’s like being a guitarist without a guitar. ¡

First point of application  for us –Often  our circumstances are not ideal, but we can still function. Joshua wasn’t just sitting back feeling discouraged. Even though he didn’t have a temple to carry out his high priestly duties in, he was working towards rebuilding the temple. You may be a guitarist with no guitar but you can still sing.

I could go round this room with lots of people whose circumstances are not what they would like them to be but everyone of us can overcome in those circumstances. For Joshua it still took a long time.

So our first point was …

  1. Your circumstances may not be ideal, but you have a commission.

So now we know the background we have this vision – let’s look at what this has to tell us.

Joshua’s dirty clothes removed. Picture of sin removed.

God says = I have taken away your sin and put a fine robe on you.

Note – not just I have taken the dirty clothes and put clean clothes. The clean clothes are not just a cover up. Not just given you clean clothes but made you clean.

So dirty on the inside and dirty on outside.

Now clean on the inside and clean on the outside and fit for service.

Actually two different words

Taken off dirty clothes and put on a robe/mantle. Not just clean but quality and purpose.

He has not just given you a change of clothing – he has given you a robe of purpose.

As I say the robe is not so that he can’t see our sin. That wouldn’t work. God doesn’t look on the outward appearance – he looks on the heart. Here the robe here is not to cover the sin – it speaks of Joshua’s role as high priest.

Put a turban on his head – doesn’t translate in our culture. Its what the high priest wore.

What is this saying? It’s saying – you Joshua are both made clean and are to take up your priestly role.

Prophetically looking forward to the day when this is true of his church.  People who are made clean and are priests. Who can minister in the presence of god.

Don’t know your calling? Minister in worship to god. That’s your calling. We all have a worship ministry.

Who do priests minister to? God and other people.

We minister to God, serving him and worshipping him. We minister to people.

Not in the OT pattern as an intermediary but in the NT way as channels. Our priesthood is to be channels of his blessing, dispensers of his blessing  2 Peter 2 – a royal priesthood. A priesthood that ministers to god. We are all high priests in our ministry to God. We can excellent in it. So our second point is …

  1. He has taken away our sin not just covered it up
  2. He is given authority. Verse 7 – We’ve been learning a bit about that in htp. Not authority over people but authority in situations, over sickness etc.
  3. A promise of future blessing

A promise looking forward

In that day each of you will invite your neighbour – you will be a blessing to others

(Similar ideas in Jer 31 – looking forward to New Covenant)

We are in new covenant days.

In that day – we are in that day.

– sit =  rest from labour. People who have faith can rest. – Shelter = protection – Vine/fig = provision

A day of enjoying gods provision and his blessings.

Conclusion – the importance of the prophetic.