An angel had appeared to Zacharias while he ministered in the temple.
He did not believe.
He found himself deaf and dumb (as we will see in the balance of the account).
Apparently this took some time.
The people were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering at his delay in the temple.
But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them;
and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple;
and he kept making signs to them, and remained mute.
When the days of his priestly service were ended, he went back home.
After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant,
and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying,
“This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me,
to take away my disgrace among men.”
The people wondered about the delay.
They really wondered when Zach came out unable to speak.
He made signs to them.
They realized that he has seen a vision.
Zach fulfilled his service duty…two weeks.
He went home.
At some point, a moment came that likely had not occurred for years.
Elizabeth was now bearing a child…a son…John.
She kept herself in seclusion.
Not from fear.
Not from fright.
From an awareness that the Lord had looked upon her with favor…in her old age.
Her disgrace had been removed. (Jews considered barrenness to be a sign of disfavor from the Lord.)
One can nearly hear a shocked, believing giggle over what the Lord had done.
A son who is the forerunner of Messiah!
And we have a hard time being patient with the timing of the Lord?
Aggressively wait upon the Lord.
“Old and Unbelieving”
An angel had just appeared to Zacharias and told him that he and Elizabeth would have a son.
The son was to be named John.
John would be the forerunner of Messiah.
Zacharias said to the angel,
“How will I know this for certain?
For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.”
The angel answered and said to him,
“I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God,
and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
“And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
We can not verbally hear the tone of his response, though we can hear the tone!
There was doubt.
There was unbelief.
There was statement of fact based upon this unbelief…”I’m old. So is my wife”
This is confirmed when we see the outcome…
Gabriel is a bit miffed.
- I am Gabriel…let’s Zach know who he is
- I stand in the presence of God…let’s Zach know where he is from and by what power he says these things
- I have been sent…let’s Zach know the purpose
- To speak to him
- To bring good news
And Zach was whining.
Due to Zach’s unbelief he would be silent/unable to speak until these things take place.
All would/will be fulfilled in their proper time.
So, where do you stand?
As a true Believer do you know Whose you are?
Do you know where you stand?
Do you know your purpose and why you are sent?
Are you unbelieving?
“You Will Bear A Son - John”
The story of Jesus’ birth continues…
We pick up the account of Zacharias and Elizebeth…
Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division,
according to the custom of the priestly office,
he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside
at the hour of the incense offering.
And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.
Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him.
But the angel said to him,
“Do not be afraid, Zacharias,
for your petition has been heard,
and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
and you will give him the name John.
“You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord;
and he will drink no wine or liquor,
and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.
“And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God.
“It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah,
TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN,
and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous,
so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
What does this have to do with the birth of Jesus?
This child, to be named John, would be the forerunner of the One prophesied.
John would move in the spirit and power of Elijah.
He would turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children.
The angel told Zacharias that he and his wife would be the parents of the forerunner!
Their petition from long ago…to have children…had been heard.
John would be great in the sight of the Lord.
He would be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb.
Can you imagine the thoughts and response of Zacharias?
We have some insight…to be continued…
“Righteous Walk Though Barren”
Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus begins with a lead-in story.
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
They were both righteous in the sight of God,
walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.
But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.
Both were of priestly lineage.
Both were righteous before God.
Both walked blameless in all the commandments of the Lord.
Both walked blameless as to the requirements of the Lord.
Yet, as to children, they were barren.
Too often when “barrenness” is in our life…lack of this/that…we assume it is because we have sinned…done something wrong, etc.
Perhaps it could be “to the praise of the glory of His grace.”
Though barren, they walked.
May we do likewise.