Every story and every word of the Bible is God breathed. Interwoven in every story is God’s sovereignty and steadfast love. Zechariah was a priest whose story can be found in Luke 1: 5-25, 57-80. Before we dive into Zechariah’s place in the Bible I encourage you to turn to Luke to read the scripture for yourself.
Good People Still Struggle With Hard Things
Zechariah was a priest that lived in Judea, who was married to Elizabeth. Despite both of them being upright in the sight of God, they endured the heartache that comes with infertility. We are told that they are both “well along in years.” One can only wonder what their states of minds were at this time. Were they still hopeful that they would have a baby or had their aging bodies silenced their longing to conceive?
Zechariah had to leave his home and stay at the temple for one week as was his duty as a priest. He was chosen by lot to go into the temple by himself to burn incense. While there, an angel appeared and told him that his prayer had been heard. He was going to be a father and he was to name his son John. This wasn’t just any baby boy, this baby boy was going to “bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.” (vs 16) This boy, Zechariah’s son, was going to be the forerunner of Christ, the One they had been waiting to rescue them. Can you imagine?
There is so much going on in the above paragraph. Can we stop to take a closer look at five little words that hold so much hope? “Your prayer has been heard.” (vs. 13) I don’t know about you, but that just send chills down my spine. God had heard his prayer and He hears our prayers!
Then the story takes a turn. Zechariah met this answered prayer with unbelief. He didn’t think it could possibly happen; he and Elizabeth were old. The angel then tells Zechariah that because of his unbelief he will be unable to speak until John is born. Zechariah not being able to speak was both an act of grace and rebuke. After his time at the temple was completed he returned home. Soon after, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant.
There were several family and friends who had gathered for John’s circumcision. Their family and friends assumed the baby boy’s name would be Zechariah but Elizabeth spoke up and said his name would be John. Zechariah confirmed this by writing it on a tablet. It was at that moment that Zechariah was able to speak again. If you had just gone through one of the most miraculous times in your life and weren’t able to speak during it, what would be your first words be the moment you were able to speak again? Zechariah chose to praise God and remember the holy covenant. He then he began to prophesy about John’s future ministry.
Can you see God’s sovereignty and steadfast love throughout this beautiful story? God loves to use the people we least expect. He used Zechariah a man that was old and perhaps past his prime for His greater glory and for a greater purpose.
God used a shepherd; the youngest of several brothers, to defeat a giant and when he got a little older God made him King. We see God use people from every race, every background and every age. Don’t ever put limits on a limitless God. He’s using you too. His sovereignty and steadfast love are intertwined all throughout your story. And it’s all for His greater glory and for His greater purpose.
Unwrapping the Gift
- If you didn’t already, go ahead and read the account of Zechariah in Luke 1: 5-25, 57-80
- What do you think your reaction would be if you heard something as preposterous as people who were old enough to be your grandparents having a baby?
- Has there ever been a time in your life where God gifted you something and all you could do was chuckle?
Monica is a follower of Jesus, photographer, sporadic blogger, health activist, wife, and mom to three energetic boys. (ages 5, 3,and 11 months) You can keep up with her writing at pixelperfectblog.com