Zacharias Serves in the Temple
The Angel of the Lord Tells Him He Will Have A Son
But, Zacharias Doubting Will Bring Him Silence
Until the Baby Boy; John the Baptist is Born
And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt
call his name John.
(I'm Covering Luke 1:8-21 if you want to read all the scripture for today)
ZACHARIAS THE MAN
As a man, Zacharias feared... As a husband, Zacharias doubted... and as a priest, Zacharias had little faith. We see that while Zacharias was a righteous man... he was still a man.
Zacharias left for Jerusalem to serve at the temple, hoping once again that he would be chosen by lot for this was a once-in-a-lifetime privilege of burning incense in the temple. Elizabeth saw him off, without a second thought as she had done twice a year for as long as she could remember.
Neither husband or wife had any reason to think that this trip would be any different from the countless ones before. But when Zacharias returned, he was speechless and could tell his wife nothing. He had been struck dumb and had to find a writing tablet.
A DREAM FULFILLED
Zacharias had finally achieved his dream of burning incense in the temple! What a joyful and fulfilling moment this was for him! Even a more glorious moment, the angel Gabriel had appeared to him and promised him a son, to be named John. John would be the forerunner of the incarnate Lord himself.
AN ANGEL BRINGS GOOD NEWS
Zacharias had spent many years praying for a child a son of his own, yet the news did not come with wonder or rejoicing. He had picked what should have been the most precious moment of his life and instead allowed all his bitterness and disappointment to overwhelm him.
Instead of heartfelt appreciation and joy over a long awaited answer to prayer, he did not thank Gabriel for the wonderful news rather, he dared to ask how he could know that the angel was telling him the truth! Gabriel quickly informed Zacharias that those would be the last words he spoke until after his son John was born.
Sure enough Elizabeth soon found that she was pregnant. Her shame had turned to joy and a great comfort must have filled her soul. In Luke 1:24... we learn that she immediately praised God and then secluded herself for five months.
Perhaps she couldn't stand the thought of facing the same old looks and words from the neighbors and decided not to let them see her until they could clearly see she was pregnant. Perhaps she just needed time to prepare her mind for the glorious moments that were to come.
FACING DOUBTS WITH HONOR
I believe that even though Zacharias had doubted, he truly was an example of a Godly husband. It was common in those days and in their society for a man to use a barren wife as accepted grounds for a divorce.
Zacharias could have exonerated himself and divorced Elizabeth, he could have married a younger woman and had children by a new wife. I'm sure many other men would have taken that route but not Zacharias, instead he prayed Luke 1:13 and his prayers were answered! His love for Elizabeth clearly shines through the dark curse that they had both carried and endured for so many years.
OUR GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE
After Zacharias had committed his problem to God, he simply kept on with the job God had given him to do. He did not stop praying and bail out because his situation looked hopeless. And neither should we!
Our God is the God of the impossible! He delights in doing impossible things for us when He knows we will give Him the glory. It is so much easier to quit and run away from difficult circumstances, but that usually compounds the problem. God wants us to take our difficulties to Him in prayer, search the Word for encouragement and direction and then wait patiently for Him to work.
WAITING ON GOD -- WHEN WE PRAY
Have you been waiting for a prayer to be answered? Has it been weeks... months... or even years? Again, I say, "Keep praying and keep believing. Use this time to rejoice and praise God... it will lessen your burden... the answer will be so much sweeter when it comes... and I know it will come! So... don't give in to Satan's lies & don't ever give up!!"
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear