Vol. 8, No. 10
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A brand was usually a metal rod with markings molded on the end. This end was put in a fire and heated. Then the heated end was put on an animal to burn the mark onto the animal. This mark normally indicated ownership. The one requiring the branding was the owner. He was the one with authority.
In Zechariah 3:1-5, we are given a scene that God showed Zechariah. In this scene the high priest is standing before the angel of the Lord. Satan is standing on the right hand side of the high priest. Satan is accusing the high priest of not being appropriate for God's purposes. By accusing the high priest in this instance, Satan is really accusing the whole priesthood. And by extension, he is accusing all of the people of God. This is a courtroom. In those days the accuser stood at the accused's right hand. Both of them stood in front of the judge. Satan is hoping to win this court case. He actually has a good case. The priesthood and the people had been evil. They had been taken into captivity for many years because of their sins.
But Satan does not understand the mercy, grace and love of God. God says that indeed the high priest and the people were a brand that had been heated in the fire. But God had taken them out of the fire. And he was going to forgive them for their past sins. (Of course, the high priest and the people had to repent before God would forgive.) God is the Master of mercy and love. He is always willing to forgive if we are willing to repent.
Satan lost his case. His accusations were of no effect. God ruled in favor of his people because they were willing to obey him. It should be remembered that they had been punished. They had already served many years in captivity to other nations. Satan wanted God to give them ultimate punishment and refuse them as his people. If Satan could get God to do this, then the Israelites would no longer be the people of God, and God's eternal plan to bring the Messiah through the Israelites would have been destroyed. God would have used the brand to put his mark on another people.
Thank God that he is a loving and merciful God. And thank him that he is always sure to fulfill his promises.
Study your Bible. Learn all you can from it. Christians are the brand now. Make sure you are the brand and remain the brand. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
In Zechariah 3:1-5, we read about God showing Zechariah a scene with the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. Satan stands on the right side of the high priest. Satan accuses the high priest of not being right for God's purposes. Satan was accusing the entire priesthood of the Israelites, and by extension accusing all of the people of being improper for God's purposes.
God states that Israel is the brand taken out of the fire. Last time, we looked at the brand being something that burned a marking on an animal to show ownership. However, there is a more likely picture being given (a kind reader pointed this out to me). The brand was the stick used to stir the fire. As it was used, it slowly burned off. Thus, it would get shorter and shorter. Eventually there was not enough left to stir the fire anymore.
God put the nation of Israel through the fire of punishment. He allowed foreign nations to conquer them and take into slavery. Israel was being pictured as the stick that stirred the fire. But God was going to take the brand out of the fire before it became completely useless and completely burned up. God intended for there to be a remnant to return to the promised land.
God is a wonderful and merciful God. He does punish but he always desires to save. He has given us the Bible to read and study. If we will do that and then obey what it says, he will bless us and save us.
Read your Bible. Obey God. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.