Babies are beautiful, but I also recognize many women cannot have children but desire them. As we continue in our Advent series, The Ten Days of Christmas, we explore a beautiful story of faith, love, blessing, and the miracle of a baby named John.
On the third day of Christmas, an angel brought good news to a faithful servant and silenced him for nine months because of his unbelief.
Zechariah was from a priestly heritage, and he and his wife, Elizabeth, wanted children, but she was unable to have them.
Some famous women of the Bible began this way – Sarah (Issac’s mother) and Hannah (the prophet Samuel’s mother) – to name a couple.
While Zechariah was on duty at the temple, the angel Gabriel visited him. Gabriel was there to convey great news, perhaps one of the best gender reveals ever, but Zechariah was skeptical.
The angel said,
“Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord.Luke 1:13-15a
Zechariah had his doubts. Like Sarah, Zechariah found it difficult for him to have a child because he was old and his wife was “getting on in years” (his words, not mine).
And for his doubt, he would get the silent treatment for nine months – he would not be able to speak until the baby was born.
Silence is tough for anyone. He could hear fine but was unable to speak. Think about the times you tried to convey something, and you weren’t able to do it?
Zechariah had served the Lord for years, he had an intimate relationship with the Lord.
When Gabriel visited him, he was afraid; it wasn’t every day that an angel visited people. However, even though he had a close relationship with the Lord, he still had doubts about his family.
Perhaps the only way the Lord could speak to Zechariah was to take away his voice. The Lord gave him and Elizabeth the desire of their heart – a child.
Sometimes silence is the only way God can get our attention. We see it as trouble, but God can use silence to give us our deepest desire or reveal the next step in your life plan.
His ways are not our ways.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the story of Zechariah and his faithfulness. We don’t always understand your ways, but we ask that you would reveal your next step in our lives. Amen!