Summary: Part two of this series focues on Zacharias and Mary.
What God Did Not Say Part 2
Two weeks ago I preached part one of this series I’ve titled “What God Did Not Say”. I talked about how we sometime have questions and/or doubts about something we believe God has told us to do because we run into problems when we start doing it. Because of the severity of the trials we go through in order to do what God has called us to do we question if we truly heard God correctly. I shared with you that as Christians we have come to believe that if God has told us to do something that it will flow perfectly and those helping us will be in total agreement with it and life would be good. However, this is not the case. What happens most often is that there are problems when we get started and those working with us get tired and turn back – yet we must continue on in what we believe God has told us to do. As we walk with God in accomplishing what He has called us to do, we cannot allow doubt to enter in because of the difficulty we face in completing the task. Our ability to believe in what God has told us to do cannot be defined by the hardships we face when doing it as it is not the hardships that God measures or looks upon, it is the results.
In part one we looked at Abraham, Moses and Samuel from the Old Testament. This morning we will examine from the New Testament Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. Their situations were quite different in some respect when compared to our Old Testament examples, but they held one thing in common, they too were not told everything that they would encounter in order to do what God had called them to do. Turn with me to Luke 1:5-20.
“In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. They were both righteous in the sight of God walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years. Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering. And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.” (Vss. 5-11)
Zacharias was one of the priests and his wife was named Elizabeth. They were advanced in age and they did not have a child and had been praying for a child for years. On this particular day, Zacharias was chosen to keep the incense burning on the altar in front of the most holy place, one of the priest’s responsibilities. As Zacharias was carrying out his responsibilities, the angel Gabriel appeared to him. Let’s examine what the angel told Zacharias.
“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Vss. 13-17)
The angel Gabriel told Zacharias a lot about what John would do and every last bit of what he said was absolutely true. Now this is a side note but I will come back to my main point. When Gabriel told Zacharias what was going to happen, Zacharias asked him how he would know for certain that they would have a child since both he and Elizabeth were old. He did not receive the answer he was searching for. Gabriel told him that he stands in the presence of God and was sent to tell him the good news. But because Zacharias did not immediately believe him, he told Zacharias that he would not be able to speak until John was born. Now here is the point I want to make as a side note, we pray and pray for God to do something and when He is ready, we question Him about it really happening. We pray and pray for something and when God starts to move, we start to doubt that it could really be happening. In the case of Zacharias, maybe God closed up his mouth so that Zacharias could not speak doubt into the situation as we so often do – allowing our tongues to get us in so much trouble. Because he lost his ability to speak, Zacharias could not speak against what God was doing. So Zacharias lost his ability to speak until John was born. So let me get back on track now – that was just an FYI for each of you who are currently seeking God for something right now do not doubt when God begins to move on your request.