6] Then the Angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying, 7] “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 those who stand here.
8] ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest,
You and your companions who sit before you,
For they are a wondrous sign;
For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.’ ” NKJV
Joshua the high priest has been prepared for his office, but now the Angel of the Lord reminds him that he has a great responsibility – to walk in the Lord’s ways and to keep His commands. It wasn’t up to him or his fellow priests to decide what they wanted to do or to say; there were clear instructions.
In our reading the other morning, my wife and I were in Jeremiah 23, where the LORD is scolding Israel for listening to false prophets. In v. 1, He says, “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD. After saying that He is going to feed these false prophets with wormwood and water of gall, v. 15, He says,
“Do not listen to the prophets who prophesy to you.
They make you worthless.
They speak a vision of their own heart,
Not from the mouth of the LORD, ” v. 16.
It is a most solemn responsibility one can have to minister the Word of God, whether in person or on some print or electronic media and regardless of whether it is from a pulpit, a class room, or typing on a laptop from the comfort of a recliner. We are dealing with men and women, boys and girls who will never cease to exist as living souls. We are affecting that eternal existence. We must be careful lest we make our audience “worthless”.
As Paul wrote in 2nd Corinthians 2:15, 16,
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading unto death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? NKJV.
It is only a false prophet who answers, “I am.”
As part of His instruction, the LORD told Zechariah that He was preparing to introduce His Servant the BRANCH, v. 8 above.
Jeremiah 23 continues,
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD,
“That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper,
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell safely; vs. 5, 6a.
Two different OT prophets, both referring to “the Branch”.
Both telling us of days of peace and prosperity that will be the result of His presence.
We’ll have more to say about this, Lord willing.
In the meantime,
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”