Bible Reading: Luke 1:11-17
First, let’s look to yesterday’s scripture – verse 6 says both Zechariah & Elizabeth were “upright in the sight of God.” They were blameless – not perfect – but lived according to “all the Lord’s commandments and regulations.” Ever read Leviticus? They controlled their thoughts & actions. How many times have we said something that we regretted?
Here’s the problem….they lived when people PERCEIVED that they had done something wrong since Elizabeth was childless. That God was punishing them since he had not given her children. This was very embarrassing for Elizabeth, AND her husband was a priest – talk about job security!
A Jew whose wife could not bear children was thought to be “cut off from God.” He was expected to divorce his wife, remarry, and bear children. Did he? Nope. We learn that Elizabeth is “well along in years” in verse 7. Apparently she was ready to ask for “senior discounts.” We can assume Zechariah loved her, since he didn’t drop her like a hot-potato.
But, they still had this huge public burden that always stayed with them – no children. Yet they both remained “upright” or “faithful” through all of their problems.
So here’s a question – did your parents receive word directly from an angel that you were about to born?
How Cool is That! Not only did an angel appear to Zechariah – that would be cool in-and-of-itself & apparently frightening – but he touted about all the great things this child would do & took care of the naming the child as well – John (the Baptist). But here’s the thing – this child wouldn’t just do these things cause he was great, but because God is. Look at the things we learn:
- He will be a joy & delight (not a problem child!)
- He will be great in the sight of the Lord (who could ask for more?)
- Never to take wine or other fermented drink (not an alcoholic! – but must live by a stricter set of rules than everyone else)
- filled with the Holy Spirit from birth (this is rare – most receive this at Pentecost in the future)
- He will bring many people back to the Lord (awesome!)
- He will go on before the Lord (Messiah’s forerunner)
- in the spirit & power of Elijah (he’s going to be God’s prophet)
- turn father’s heart to their children (as it should be – raise them up right)
- turn disobedient to wisdom of righteousness (come on back to the Lord)
- make people ready for the Lord! (cue music – Down to the River to Pray)
Wouldn’t you be full of pride to learn your child was going to do all this? What a privilege that God would Bless him with such a child. Not just any child, but God’s instrument here on earth.
We’re not really sure what Zechariah was praying for (verse 13), but this angel (tomorrow we learn his name is Gabriel) has said that “your prayer has been heard.” Was he praying for Israel and the long-awaited Messiah, or was he grieving over being childless? Or, something else entirely. But we do know that the angel is “standing at the right side of the altar of incense” – the place of prayer.
What seems impossible to you? Have you gone to God in prayer? Remember that “all things are possible with God” (Matthew 19:26).
Ornament Ideas: Angel
Coloring / Art Ideas:
- Related – The Nativity Tree: 25 Days of Christmas
- Related – The Nativity Tree: Day 4 – Cinnamon
- Related – The Nativity Tree: Day 6 – Snowflake
- Related – December Bible Verse Bookmarks