IN A NUTSHELL:
When the angel of the Lord rebuked Satan he told Joshua that he had “taken his iniquity away.” That does not mean just his punishment for sin, but also his pitiful endless cycle of self destructive thinking and purposeless living. Religious leaders that have fallen into sin are much too common. The advice given to many fallen church leaders is to acknowledge your sin, say you’re sorry, get some counseling and get back in the saddle because of the talents you have. The call from God is to be saved from condemning cycles of sin, not just the punishment and consequences. God's grace is UnFATHOMABLE! Zechariah 3 gives us a good overview of what religious followers need to understand about fallen religious leaders; what they look like, and what can help them repent and remain faithful.
Can you recall a time when you longed for something great to happen but was apparently out of reach because of mistakes you had made? Did it eventually work out? How? Check this out!
CONNECTING TO THE TEXT
- What dates did Haggai get “a word” from God? Haggai 1:1; 2:1; 2:10
- What dates did Zechariah get “a word” from God? Zechariah 1:1,7; 7:1 9 (These questions count for showing the historical context of the story of Joshua & Zechariah. Look at how the people of God are described in Haggai 1:1-12, now look at how God viewed their High Priest in Zechariah 3.)
- What is the book of Zechariah known best for? A summary of Zechariah -
- Where was Satan standing and what was he doing? Zech. 3:1
- Is standing at a person’s right hand a significant position? Ps. 16:8; 73:23; 110:5; 121:5
- How was Joshua’s two sets of clothing described? Zech. 3:3-5
- What was Zechariah’s reaction to the Angel’s words to Joshua? Zech. 3:5
- What did the angel say Joshua needed to do? Zech. 3:6
- What did the angel say Joshua would be able to do? Were those privileges conditional? Zech 3:6,7
- What did Zechariah say about the coming Messiah? See “365 Messianic Prophecies”
- What does the New Testament say about cleansing from sin? See “The Cleansing of Sin”
REFLECTING UPON OUR LIVES
- Who stands at your right hand so to speak? In other words… who has the greatest access to your sense of security and confidence (or lack of)?
- What types of sins seem to stain the clothes of most Christians today? Can Haggai & Zechariah give us any clarity to this question?
- Does it seem fair for positions of spiritual leadership to be tied to a condition of faithfulness and purity?
- What are some good resources to help a leader prevent himself from falling into sin? Ask yourself how those things described by the Angel of the Lord to Joshua might have affected Joshua’s work?
Four good books:
- Steering Clear
- Restoration Manual - A Workbook for Restoring Fallen Ministers and Religious Leaders
- Restoring the Fallen: A Team Approach to Caring, Confronting & Reconciling
- The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath
CONNECTING WITH THE WAY WE DO CHURCH
- What kind of questions do we ask leadership candidates regarding their personal life?Leadership New Elder Interview Questionnaire B 9-12-11
- What do our ministers do in effort to keep in mind they are “brands snatched from the fire”? TLCC Leadership and Sabbath