I want to share with you a powerful story of a man named Zachariah, whose life was profoundly touched by the hand of God. We find his story in the first chapter of Luke, a testament to the divine interactions with humanity.
Zachariah was a priest during the reign of King Herod, a time when the people of Israel yearned for the long-awaited Messiah. He was married to a righteous woman named Elizabeth, but they were both old and had no children, which was seen as a great shame in those days.
One day, while serving in the temple, an angel of the Lord appeared to Zachariah. Can you imagine the astonishment and fear that must have gripped his heart? But the angel spoke words of comfort, saying, “Fear not, Zachariah, for thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John” (Luke 1:13, KJV).
Zachariah couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He questioned the angel, asking how such a thing could happen because of their advanced age. And in response, the angel identified himself as Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and declared that because of Zachariah’s unbelief, he would be struck mute until the day his son was born.
From that moment on, Zachariah remained unable to speak, but the people realized he had seen a vision in the temple. When his time of service in the temple was completed, he returned home to Elizabeth, and true to the angel’s words, she conceived and hid herself for five months.
The family and friends gathered for the child’s circumcision and were preparing to name him after his father, but Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Ghost, declared, “Not so, but he shall be called John” (Luke 1:60, KJV). They were perplexed, for there were no relatives with that name. So they made signs to Zachariah, asking for his opinion.
Zachariah asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” At that moment, his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he began to praise God. The people were amazed and began to understand that something extraordinary was happening.
In the following verses, we learn that Zachariah, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, delivered a powerful prophecy, praising God for His faithfulness and prophesying about the coming of the Messiah. This prophecy is recorded in Luke 1:67-79 and is known as the Benedictus.
Zachariah’s life teaches us that even in our doubts and questions, God’s plans are unshakeable. He chose Zachariah and Elizabeth, despite their advanced age, to play a crucial role in the fulfillment of His divine purpose. It reminds us that our circumstances do not limit the power and faithfulness of God.
Just as God was with Zachariah, He is with each one of us today. He hears our prayers and has a purpose for our lives. Learn from Zachariah’s experience, trust in God’s promises even when they seem impossible. We must have faith like Zachariah, whose doubt turned into praise and prophecy, as we eagerly await the fulfillment of God’s plans in our lives.
Remember, God is not bound by time or circumstance. He can turn the impossible into reality. Let us hold on to His promises and walk in faith, for He is faithful to complete the work He has begun in us.
May the story of Zachariah remind us of God’s grace, mercy, and power, and may it inspire us to trust in Him completely. Like Zachariah, we should respond to God’s divine interactions with faith, obedience, and praise.