Thursday, June 18, 2009

#1 Chapter 1:1-25 Zacharias & Elizabeth

Read Chapter 1:1-25...then come back..

After reading the account of Zacharias and Elizabeth, Johns parents, I was reminded of Abraham and Sarah and how God gave them a child (Issac) in their old age too. But Zacharias unlike Abraham didn't believe it, so Gabriel punished him "You will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you didn't believe"...

Ouch! I guess that was Gabriel's way of saying "shut up!"... I was also reminded of what Joyce Meyers taught in her book called The Battlefield of the Mind when she said we have to be careful what we let come out of our mouth, because we eat the fruit of it....Maybe Gabriel did it because he didn't want Zacharias to negate the promise? By speaking doubt and unbelief?

Not to mention what Zacharias must have been going through emotionally as he was going about his job of lighting the incense and looked up and saw the angel Gabriel standing there!! Apparently Zach fell down or at least stumbled, cause Gabriel tried to comfort him by telling him not be afraid...Poor Zacharias...If he was bored with his job I bet that woke him up!!

Can't you just see old Zacharias wishing he hadn't opened his big mouth? Trying but not able to speak? Opening his mouth and nothing but a hoarse croak coming out? If it weren't so sad, I would have to laugh..And then when he came out and the others realized he couldn't talk I bet they were glad it hadn't been their turn to burn the incense..:)..

But seriously it made me wonder how many times God has wanted me to shut my mouth?..How many times God thought about sending an angel to put a clamp on my tongue because I was speaking words of doubt?

And the wonderful announcement of a son to be named John and He would be filled with the Holy Spirit even in his mothers womb...This was truly unusual because in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit was only given for short periods of time to empower someone to work on God's behalf to do a particular I guess we can assume that John the Baptist was the first one to be baptised in the Holy Spirit completely...Everybody else other than Jesus had to wait until the day of Pentecost for that to happen.

Gabriel said that John would be filled with the same kind of spirit or calling that Elijah the great prophet had....That's big time stuff.

The story also encourages me, because God used Zacharias and Elizabeth because they were devoted to God. (v6)" ...they were both righteous before God; walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless"

It encourages me not because I think I'm walking blameless before God, on the contrary, I blow it big-time every day, but I am devoted to Him and do trust Him to see me as righteous through my faith in the righteousness of Jesus.

I'm grateful we no longer have to live under the strict rules that the old covenant required. ...but instead I can boldly and confidently approach the throne of grace and mercy... Thank you Jesus..

What did you learn from the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth?

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