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Luke 1:67-80 Zechariah’s Prophecy

Posted by adventbiblestudy on May 27, 2013


Luke 1:67-80 Zechariah’s Prophecy

 

Luke 1:67-80 NLTse Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy: (68) “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. (69) He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, (70) just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago. (71) Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. (72) He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant— (73) the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. (74) We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, (75) in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live. (76) “And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. (77) You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. (78) Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, (79) to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (80) John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.

 

After nine months of suffering through God’s curse, Zechariah witnessed the birth of his son just as the angel Gabriel told him. At that time Zechariah still could not speak. After eight additional days at the child’s circumcision ceremony, his friends and family insisted they name the baby after him, while Elizabeth told them, “No! His name is John!” The family tried to save Zechariah’s honor by asking him what the child’s name should be. Zechariah took the chalk board he used to communicate and wrote, “His name is John.”

 

Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and began praising God. It was not the fulfillment of the prophecy given by Gabriel that restored Zechariah’s voice, it was the lesson he learned while enduring his long trial. In the temple Zechariah questioned God. Not the prophecy about his son, but God’s timing. Zechariah prayed for a son for years then finally gave up hope. This opened the door for Satan to come in and play games in his mind. The change was so slow and subtle, Zechariah never saw the change. As Zechariah continued to serve God to the best of his ability, his doubt in God continued. At first it only concerned a son. Zechariah convinced himself it was his fault, or Elizabeth’s, or maybe both. Satan worked on the breach Zechariah did not know how to repair. The crack in the wall widened to include the suppression suffered under Rome. Zechariah gave up hope of being delivered from Rome. Satan build on this for years until he was able to get Zechariah to question God’s ability to provide the salvation He promised. Imagine, a priest doubting God’s ability to fulfill His promise of salvation. This was a defect God had to help Zechariah over come to equip him for the task ahead of raising his son, the LORD’s messenger.

 

It didn’t talk long for Zechariah to realize his doubt took his voice away. That was only the first step in the lesson Zechariah had to learn. Once again he prayed to God, like when he prayed for a son. This time his prayers were for himself, to be able to speak again, that God would forgive him. For more than nine months Zechariah spoke to God, trying to make deals, willing to give up this or that. He also reminded God, he could do a better job of raising a son with a voice. Nothing worked. Once his son was born Zechariah was not only reminded of, but faced the sacrifices required to raise a child. The pieces were beginning to fall into place. When Zechariah saw his family looking after his well being, he felt ashamed. His legacy was not important. Zechariah saw how eternal life with God was much more important and a greater gift than a son to carry on his name in this world. The answer hit Zechariah like a ton of bricks. How could he be so blind? Zechariah realized it was not only his doubt that insulted God, but his pride. He was not dedicated to God’s plan of salvation, but only himself. He wanted a son to carry on his legacy and could not see God’s plan for his son. Satan not only increased Zechariah’s doubt, but increased his selfishness. Almost the perfect plan for Zechariah’s downfall.

 

All at once Zechariah felt a weight removed from every fiber of his being. As soon as he confessed his selfishness to God, a vision came to him. He understood God’s plan of salvation like never before. Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy: “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago.”

 

Zechariah not only understood the prophecy about his son given by Gabriel, but how he fit into God’s plan of salvation. Elizabeth told him about the vision she received and sat in silence as she talked with Mary about the child she was carrying. Zechariah engulfed by self pity was not able to understand . He was not able to look at the common theme between the events until he realized his selfishness was the power holding back his spiritual growth.

 

Zechariah continued to share his vision and prayer with his family and friends. “Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us.” Zechariah wanted the world to know he regained his faith in God. He continued his praises to God. “He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant— the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham.” It was not God who remembered His covenant. God never forgot. He showed Zechariah how He had been working on His plan all this time. Realizing this, Zechariah exclaimed, “He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant— the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham.” Another lesson Zechariah learned was, when God gives His word, it is as good as fulfilled. Zechariah continued with a prophecy about his son. “”And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord.” Zechariah wanted everyone to hear the details he now understood about God’s plan of salvation and his son’s role in God’s plan. “You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins.” Zechariah finished his prayer by praising God. “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”

 

Complete joy and love for God and his family filled Zechariah’s heart. He realized and humbly accepted his responsibility, knowing he cannot fulfill God’s plan on his own, but to pray for, accept, and rely on God leading him and Elizabeth every step of the way. With Zechariah’s new found confidence and dependence on God, John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.

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