It's Getting Quiet In Here
Many times we miss points and context within the Scriptures because we read only sections/verses without reading the chapter (or even the letter entirely). So before you go further, go back and read Luke chapter one.
Alright, now that you have read Luke 1 (you better have) we can jump in. Zechariah was a priest serving God in the sanctuary. And this day everything changes, an angel appears to tell him that the thing they have desired for many years will now happen. He and his wife will have a son. The angel goes on to share who their son will become; he will be celebrated in the eyes of the Lord. Zechariah hears that his son will cause the rebellious to turn to God and that he will have the spirit and power of Elijah, for a priest like Zechariah this statement that he will be like Elijah is big news. This type of report means something. The angel also shares that this child is to be called John.
The best part happens next (alright not the best but rather funny). Zechariah hears all this news; he sees an angel face to face, then he says...
Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” (Luke 1:18)
What? Are you questioning the reliability of this news because of your age? There is an angel right there, in front of you! Talk about a sentence you say then regret immediately. Sadly, we too do the same thing. God is working right there in front of you, but you are also busy looking at the details questioning the reliability. Are you skeptical? An excellent opportunity occurs right before your eyes, and you are too busy looking at all of the negatives?
Step in faith or retreat in fear.
Is God opening doors at your job, they seem exciting and could lead to some great opportunities but they require change, and there are some unknowns? You are preparing for college and that one school that has been on your mind for some time now seems too costly, too far, too good for you? The reality is, there will be unknowns, you won’t be able to answer every detail, but it is what you do next. Step in faith or retreat in fear.
But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.” (Luke 1:20)
Well, Zechariah walked out of the sanctuary different than he went in. He encountered an angel from the Lord. He heard the news that he is to have a son. And because of his doubt, he is silenced until the son's arrival.
Remember that is like nine months (girls you know!), nine months of silence, the inability to talk and communicate. This dude was probably winning at Pictionary. Nobody wanted to go over to Zechariah’s house for game night.
The baby finally arrives! The celebration begins but notice, Zechariah still cannot talk. What the? I thought he would get his voice back at the birth. That's what that darn angel said right? Did you think something was going to happen a certain way in your life? Did you have a plan for your life and it was supposed to work to your schedule, but now the timing seems off? Did the thing you thought would happen a certain way now go off track? What did you do in response?
When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!” “What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.” So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God. (Luke 1:59-64)
I love these verses. First, the moment of the naming arrives and the father cannot speak. The wife, Elizabeth shares that the name of their son (the only one) is not to receive the name of his father (which is the custom) but a ‘random’ name that has no connection to their family. So, now it is the fathers turn to share the name, and he needs a writing tablet (Pictionary?). He writes “His name is John.” What happens next, he instantly speaks.
Too often in our lives, the things that seem to be going off track, not happening to the timing we thought, the promises that seem broken. Your future is not broke because God is not working but because you are not obedient. Zechariah was silence for almost a year, no way to communicate the way he used to. His only son, the pride of his family lineage, is to receive a name that has no connection to his family, John. And at the moment, when he could (and society desired) for him to name him after his name but he is obedient.
Your future is not broke because God is not working but because you are not obedient.
You're at nine months, you have stepped in faith and worked hard for where you have been led by God, but there are eight more days are you going to be obedient? Stop trying to control your destiny and surrender to God and His leading.
The last point that deserves our attention is Luke 1:64. "Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God" (Luke 1:64). The first thing Zechariah does is praise God! Are you giving God the glory for good? Are you giving Him glory in your bad? Luke 1:64 is vital in our lives. We must give God the praise; everything points to Him and what He is doing in your life.
Today, stop and look at your life, what is not where you hoped it would be? What has happened as you look back that amazes you? God is in both situations and in both situations you need to be obedient to God and give Him the praise.
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