And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Zechariah 3: 2

This is a strange conversation to imagine with God talking to Satan and saying such powerful yet odd things; although, I do admit that the oddness is not really so far from what I might expect from God, who does say and do some things that are way outside of my usual understanding. So why does God need to speak so sternly to Satan, and what is this little encounter really about?

It would seem that Satan has been going about his usual business of accusing people who love God of being flawed failures, hypocrites, and sinful wrecks so that he can convince us that we are of no earthly good to God’s kingdom and that we should just stop trying to serve the Lord, for we are just getting in the way. This is the sort of thing that evil has been speaking to people since those first whispered lies, and he hasn’t slowed his poisonous outpouring for even a moment since. Thus, when this is the sort of thing that Satan is saying to you or me, we need to consider what is true and what is righteous in our world and tune in our hearts to listen to the voice of Christ as He defends us, and as He provides us with the factual perspective that we need to function well as God’s children.

For the Lord is quick to remind us that we were once much like the stick that is in the center of the blazing fire with our substance being consumed by the heat of sin in our lives; thus, our future was one of waste and certain destruction. Yet, while we were still in the center of the fire, Christ reached out His hand of grace, and He retrieved us and brought us to the safety of His eternal presence; then, the Lord stands mightily before evil and defends us absolutely.