The Silence Breaks
Bible Passage: Luke 1:5-25, Malachi 3:1, Malachi 4:6,
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. And 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. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
- God uses everyone to accomplish His plan. Luke was led by the Holy Spirit and his work became part of God’s word.
- Zechariah unbelief did not change God’s plan nor will the disbelief of the modern world.
- God gets the final word in history. If we are believers we become part of that history.
- His plan works through individual ordinary people, but God gets the final word in our lives and our stories. God hears all of our prayers and if we are faithful our prayers will be answered in a way that glorifies Him.
One Couldn’t Help But Ask…
- Do you think God still using real people in the real world today? Could He be using people like you and I?
- If you believe that Zechariah’s doubt could not derail God’s plan, what level of concern should we invest into the world that appears to be trying to build a world without God:
- by eliminating the subject of God from children’s education?
- by supporting people in the world who have no desire to live by God’s direction to work?
- When we saw Zechariah leaving the inner temple later than expected, we found his fellow brothers questioning the amount of time he had spent inside, when in fact, he was talking to an angel. What do we do when our inability to understand that each of our actions are God’s will and God’s work causes tension? How do we stay out of God’s way and how is this conflict resolved?