18 Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."
19 The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.
20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time."
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple.
22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home.
24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.
25 "The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people."
Zechariah’s Doubt (1:18~21)
How would you react if you were in Zechariah’s position? We might like to think that we would never doubt the words of an angel sent by God. But if we were to be honest with ourselves, we would likely confess that when God promises us something that everything else in our life deems impossible, our natural response is to question Him. In such impossible circumstances, we often respond not with faith but fear. We carefully assess the reality of the situation and struggle to trust God for fear of being disappointed. But He always pulls through and proves that He is the only One we can trust completely. When God declares a promise, He will surely see it to fulfillment.
- Consider the people in your life whom you trust completely. We sometimes trust flawed human beings more readily than we trust our perfect God. How can you learn to fully trust God?
God’s Promise Fulfilled (1:22~25)
Zechariah becomes mute for his doubt, and Elizabeth soon conceives and has a child. It is the story of Sarah, Hannah, and even Mary: God opens the womb and gives the gift of new life. It is a very personal blessing for Elizabeth, as God has heard her prayers and has taken away her disgrace. But this answered prayer is also a great blessing for humankind, for the child she carries will play a pivotal role in God’s plan of redemption by preparing the way for our Lord and Savior. Our God operates on both a deeply personal and universal scale. He gets intimately involved in the lives of His people and gives us the privilege of participating in His work.
- In what ways has God answered your most personal prayer requests? How do you see Him working through your life as part of His greater plan?
A letter to God
Dear God, You are a good, good Father. You declare Your good promises in my life, and I know that You will fulfill every single one of them. Give me faith so that I might trust what You say and know You more every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.