As an accuser of God’s people, Satan can disguise himself as the Holy Spirit and bury us in a quagmire of moral confusion. He can make us feel good when we should feel guilty and make us feel guilty when we should be at peace.
Zechariah records an incident that displays the accusation of Satan:
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire!”
Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the LORD stood by.
Then the Angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My command, then you shall also judge My house, and likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk among these who stand here.” Zechariah 2:1-7
Joshua was clad in filthy garments. As he stood in the presence of God, Satan called attention to his clothes. The enemy accused Joshua before the Lord. Indeed his clothes were dirty. Satan picked on a vulnerable spot. But the Lord defended His elect. “Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?”
Every Christian is a brand plucked from the fire. The salvaged brand is rescued from the inferno. After it is removed from the center of the flames, the heat can no longer destroy. It may smolder for a few moments, but it survives.
A smoldering brand is filthy. It makes black marks on whoever handles it. Its charred surface is covered with tar and soot.
That is who we are. The redeemed of God who are snatched from the flames by the hand of the Lord are still covered with ashes. We remain streaked with charcoal. We remain blemished with soot. We are redeemed, but not totally sinless. Satan is quick to call attention to the dirt. He wants us to be more conscious of our own sin than of God’s mercy.
Satan’s accusations are met by a divine reprimand: “The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!” God stops the mouth of Satan. Christ is our attorney who rises to our defense. As Satan prosecutes us, Christ stands before the bench and declares, “Objection, your honor! This is one of My brands snatched from the fire.” God replies from the throne of judgment, “Objection sustained!” The tongue of the accuser is silenced in the courtroom of the Almighty.
The Lord’s angel removed Joshua’s filthy garments and clothed him with rich robes. A clean turban was placed upon his head. This is how Christ clothes His redeemed. We are clothed in His righteousness so that we need not be embarrassed in the presence of God.
Another thought provoking excerpt from R.C. Sproul’s, Pleasing God. What a beautiful Old Testament picture of a New Testament truth! This excerpt has been running around my head for a few days, so I wanted to pass it along. I wrote about this heavenly process of being clothed properly and the process of sanctification in the post, “Change Your Clothes!” Do you feel Satan’s accusations? Tell him to close his mouth – the Lord has taken your filthy garments and has clothed you with garments of praise.
For further reading on this topic you can link to my post, Change Your Clothes . If you do choose to read further, just scroll down after clicking on, it will be under “The Sinister Accuser.”