Thursday, May 5, 2011

Luke 1:5-17

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1:5-17)

The story of the parents of John the Baptist. They were barren, but remained faithful to God and each other, despite Zacharias being able to put Elisabeth aside for not being able to have children and that barrenness was a curse from God. As the Scripture says: “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” By this time they were “well stricken in years” so there was no hope of having a child either.

The description of Zacharias and Elisabeth are two people who are “waiting on the Lord”, not for any hope of specific temporal blessings, but in His will. They are serving Him and ready to serve Him more. Then He gives the signs for those who will see, the old lady past menopause and her old husband, both of them nice enough people, working about the Temple, but cursed by God without children. How many gossips ran their mouths about the “secret sin” of this couple? However, God was ready to move in a mighty way with this willing couple, both blessing them and making Himself known by marking out this child as something special.

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