to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
October 04, 2019 – Friday
Zechariah 3:6-7 NIV
6 The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua:
7 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to Me and keep My requirements, then you will govern My house and have charge of My courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
Before we get to chapter three let’s get an overview of Zechariah and his book. Dr. Thomas Constable provides this background.
Zechariah spoke to the remnant of Israel in God’s commission at the same time as Haggai, Zechariah’s message was a totally different one. While Haggai had to rebuke the people most of the time because their zeal for the building of the temple wearied. Zechariah speaks more of the city of Jerusalem. Besides he is the only post-exile prophet to give a detailed overview on the history of God’s people and the nations connected with Jerusalem. He describes the rejection of the Messiah by His earthly people Israel and their repentance and acknowledgment of the Messiah who will appear to establish His reign of peace. In this Zechariah is very similar to Daniel the prophet. Zechariah has also been compared to Isaiah “the evangelist among the prophets”. The keynote of his message is the unchanging love of God and His care for His earthly people. He will preserve them from all dangers coming from the world’s powers and keep them for His kingdom on earth.
With this in mind let us not turn to our verses of the day and to the verses that precede them in this chapter.
1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 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?” 3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 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 fine garments on you.” 5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.
These verses are really amazing as Joshua’s filthy clothes represented the sin and inequities in his life and the angel of the Lord, representing Jesus to come had his sin (filthy clothes) removed and replaced them with celebratory, stately robes, the apparel of royalty and wealth, symbolic of God”s righteousness (Constable). The turban goes back to the tradition started in Exodus 28:36-37 when it would have an engraved gold plate saying Holy To The Lord.
Now looking at our verse of the day. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to Me and keep My requirements, then you will govern My house and have charge of My courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here. Here we find two conditions and three promises. The first condition was Israel’s actual righteousness where she had to walk in His ways in devotion. The second condition Israel had to carry out was her assigned priestly duties faithfully. Then and only then Israel would rule or preside over God’s people and temple as well as being in charge of His courts, and most importantly have open direct access to God Himself.
All incredible promises, especially the last which is what we can expect when we turn to Jesus, repent of our sins and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. It is not something we deserve, but simply Grace granted by God through His Son’s payment for our sins on the cross.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)