What is going on here? Because of a valid accusation against Joshua, Satan stands ready to take his life due to his sins, symbolized by the filthy robes. This scene confirms that Satan still has the power to take life, but the story does not end there.
Job 2:5-6 adds more to our understanding. The cynical Satan asks: “'But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!' And the LORD said to Satan, 'Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.'” This example confirms that, even though Satan still has this power, he is nonetheless also subject to God. Satan can execute that power only on those whom God gives him permission to kill.
Nevertheless, his and his fellow demons' very presence surcharges this earth with a sense of death that creates a fear (Ephesians 2:1-3). Thus, we have the assurance that God is overseeing our lives, ensuring that we do not get in over our heads. I Corinthians 10:13 assures us that, if we believe and act on it in submissive obedience to God, He will not test us above our abilities.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Eight): Death
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Zechariah 3:2: