Day 20: The Faith of Elizabeth and Zechariah
Scripture to meditate on: Luke 1:5-25 The Angel’s Announcement
In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
The angel said to him, “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. 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 appointed time.”
Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 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.
When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. “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.”
This passage so beautifully displays God’s character. It is filled with hope for us all because the prayers that we long prayed will be answered. God often answers when all human hope has disappeared. They could no longer trust in their physical capabilities, aged out, and infertile they had given up hope. So, there could be no doubt that the son they bore was a miracle from God. Restoration is part of God’s plan for me. Just like Elizabeth I shall see the restoration of all things in my life. God will show me favor and take away my disgrace. There are no limitations for our God who defies all logic, limitations, and natural possibilities to accomplish His plan for us, reminding us that with God all things are possible. Most of all, He doesn’t need our help to fulfill His plans.
God hears me and answers in His time. I pray and He hears my voice (among billions of others). He knows me and my hearts cry. This is so amazing! God doesn’t forget us or lose track of us. We are not just a number to Him. He has a plan for our lives and had already prepared an answer for Elizabeth and Zechariah. Yet they had no way of knowing His great plan for their soon to be born son. In His proper time, God sneaks up on me and answers my prayers even when I have begun to wonder if I will ever see the answer. Like Zechariah who voiced his unbelief despite the announcement of the angel, I have been caught by surprise when the Lord answered a prayer for which I had long ago lost hope of ever receiving an answer.
The plan of God is greater than my prayer request. He knows the big picture.
I need to be made ready so while I wait, He is preparing me for what is to come. He is able to do it when all things are in place and my heart is ready. God sometimes requires us to wait for our prayers to be answered. I have waited for yearsssss to receive the answer to some of my prayers. The answers from God are worth waiting for. When God’s timing was right, he brought Elizabeth a very special child, one who would play an important role in the life of God’s precious son, Jesus Christ, and His ministry.
Questions to ponder:
- What does this passage say about God?
- What does this passage say about me or my relationships?
- What should I do in light of this passage?