In the Nick of Time
And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? ~Zechariah 3:2
One of the favorite things associated with camping out is the making of a campfire. A lot of firewood is set aside as fuel to keep the fire going. Once the fire is roaring hot, we think about putting more wood and not about taking any out. In our devotion this morning, our thought is centered on “a brand plucked out of the fire.” This is a branch that has not started burning but is taken out before the fire touches and consumes it. It is taken out at the nick of time.
We see the rebuke.
Satan has the power of death (Hebrews 2:14). His evil agenda is for men to die without receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. He wants them to spend all of eternity in Hell. However, God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So, the Lord rebukes Satan. He is reprimanding Satan on one hand and restraining him on the other. You might say that God is telling Satan, “You can’t have him!”
We see the rescue.
“Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” God plucked Joshua out of the fire in the nick of time. In Genesis 19, God sent two angels to rescue Lot and his family from the judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah. We are told that the angels took them by the hands. Once they were out of the city, the Lord rained fire and brimstone upon those wicked cities and burned them. Lot, his wife, and his two daughters were brands plucked out of the fire. Every salvation is a brand plucked out of the fire. David said, “There is but a step between me and death.” Every day that a sinner goes without repenting of his sin and accepting Christ, he is dangerously close to spending eternity in Hell. Thank God that when we get saved, it is in the nick of time.
We see the reserved.
A brand plucked out of the fire is never destined to be thrown back in. When we get saved, we “shall not come into condemnation," but are passed from death unto life (John 5:24). In John 10:28, Jesus said, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” Peter said that salvation is “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” God has reserved our spot in Heaven. It cannot be taken away, become defiled, or be lost. We are God’s chosen possession for all of eternity.
We see the responsibility.
“And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 1:23). Using this same metaphor, Jude exhorts us about the responsibility of winning people to Christ. We must approach soulwinning with a sense of urgency. We are told to move with fear. It’s like a massive wildfire that is burning everything in its path. A soul rescued is a salvation in the nick of time. I have had the privilege of leading many men and women to Christ at the 11th hour. I think of one man in the hospital whom I had the privilege of leading to Christ at 1:00pm in the afternoon. He went home to be with the Lord around 3:30am the following morning. He was a brand snatched out of the burning. Let us move with urgency in reaching people with the gospel and help them get saved in the nick of time.
Have a time-sensitive God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Matthew 13-14