Summary: We can join Zacharias in praising God for four things.
The Blessedness of God
Woodlawn Baptist Church
November 27, 2005
It has been said that if our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior!
I think we forget how desperate our need for forgiveness was. I wonder if we do not realize how great a need we had and still have for the grace of God and how great God is for providing that grace and forgiveness to us in the person of Jesus Christ. God is worthy of our praise. That God is worthy of our praise is a fact we have explored already in Luke’s account and one which we’ll continue today in this message.
In Luke 1:57, we learn that Elizabeth came to full term in her pregnancy and delivered the son God had promised through Gabriel. Several women showed up on the eighth day when the child was due to be circumcised and determined to name the boy Zach Jr. Elizabeth however told the women that his name was supposed to be John. I love the response given by the ladies: “What? We’ve never done it that way before!” They questioned Zacharias about it, so he stepped in at this time and let everyone know that the boy’s name was indeed John, and when he communicated this fact, the Bible says that his tongue was loosed and he spake and praised God.
In fact, being filled with the Holy Ghost in verse 67, he prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel…” In other words, Zacharias told the people and in fact tells us that God is to be praised; He is adorable for some reasons that I want you to consider this morning. Why is God to be praised? Why is God worthy of our adoration?
Because He visited us
I read the story about a wise and good king. He loved his people. He wanted to know how they lived. He wanted to know about their hardships. Often he dressed in the clothes of a working man or a beggar, and went to the homes of the poor. No one whom he visited thought that he was their ruler. One time he visited a very poor man who lived in a cellar. He ate the coarse food the poor man ate. He spoke cheerful, kind words to him. Then he left. Later he visited the poor man again and disclosed his identity by saying, "I am your king!" The king thought the man would surely ask for some gift or favor, but he didn’t. Instead he said, "You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the course food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart! To others you have given your rich gifts. To me you have given yourself!"
God did that for us. The word visit means more than to drop in on. It has the idea of going with a desire to do something. Philippians 2 says that He “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
The incarnation of Jesus Christ is an event that ought to solicit great praise from the hearts of men and women who love the Lord. “The word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” But He didn’t dwell among us because He was bored. He saw our pitiful condition and chose to do something about it.
Because He redeemed us
He redeemed us! He paid the ransom price! When man was sold into slavery to sin and was unable to help himself God paid the ultimate price. He gave Himself! Paul wrote to the church of Galatia that “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” This wasn’t some new concept. Long before Paul came along, before there even was a Law, Job wrote, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” Hosea told the story about the love of his life being put on the auction block, and when she had deserted him, had forsaken him for other lovers, had gotten so low that she was being sold into slavery he bought her for himself. It’s a beautiful picture of the love God has for us. Mankind deserted God, none go seeking after God. We spend our lives in pursuit of every lover that comes along, but in His infinite love God purchased us for Himself.