January 16 - Zechariah's Song

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 16 - Zechariah's Song

Luke 1:67-80

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people” (Luke 1:68).

Can you imagine not being able to speak for the entire length of time your wife was pregnant with your child?  Zechariah had gone up to serve in the Temple and when an angel told him that he was going to be a father and that his son would prepare the people of Israel for the coming of the Lord, he was astounded and couldn't believe the truth of what the angel was saying.  Because of his unbelief, he was no longer able to speak.

Then, came the day of the child’s birth. Zechariah and Elizabeth had already discussed the child’s name … it was to be John, but since their friends and family knew there was no one in the family with that name, they refused to believe Elizabeth at the circumcision.  Zechariah asked for a writing tablet, wrote the words, “His name is John,” and suddenly his tongue was loosed.

The first thing Zechariah did was begin to praise God.  It strikes me as to how selfless these people were. Rather than rush to his wife and speak to her, or talk to his friends or even talk to his son, the one person Zechariah wanted to hear his voice was the Lord God and he wanted the Lord to hear his voice lifted up in praise.

The Song of Zechariah is a prophecy.  One would come who was going to redeem Israel and bring salvation, to remind the people of their covenant with Abraham and to rescue them from their enemies so they would be able to serve the Lord “without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all [their] days” (Luke 1:74-75).

Then, Zechariah spoke to his son.  What a powerful moment this had to be.  He had spent nine months preparing for this child, able to speak to no one except God.  Can you imagine the extraordinary conversations that enforced silence brought about?

“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:76-77).

You know, we've gotten far away from setting high expectations on our children from the moment of their birth.  Parents say they want their children to find themselves and find their own way in the world, refusing to call out high goals and plans before kids are even out of diapers.  Zechariah knew what his son was going to do and it was a life that was unimaginable.  For four hundred years, Israel had been without prophets, and yet, John would be just that.  A prophet of God, sent to prepare the people of the Lord for His entrance into the world.

There was a great deal to praise the Lord for when Zechariah’s mouth was opened.

Your mouths are always open, what do you offer in praise?