The story of Zechariah continues here as he talks about his special son John, who will grow to become the forerunner of Jesus Christ – John the Baptist …
(Zechariah speaking) …
I am not going to live long enough to see it fulfilled myself. But I have been given a prophecy about this little boy.
So let me read to you what I wrote and have said. I tell you, of anything I have ever said or written, I was never so “INSPIRED” as with these words … they really are, I can assure you, words that came through me under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit …
68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
Yes, the Messiah is coming, and John will play a role in preparing the way for him to fulfill God’s greatest plan of the ages. People – don’t miss this truth, don’t fail to see and understand God’s salvation revealed for all people. This is what ALL of God’s work is ALL about!
Before I go, let me share with you some timeless lessons from my life experience …
God is able to use us in our weakness, even redeeming our failures.
I’m not pleased I did not believe immediately, having prayed for the very thing that was now happening. And it was annoying to not have a voice for many months. But God used all of that for great good, adding to the witness that He was doing a special work in the birth of John and in who he will become.
The important thing when making a mistake is to not double-down on it and try to fix it and twist it yourself. Acknowledge the failure and get right back on the road of trusting God and following His way.
God remembers his promises and fulfills his word, even if it seems often to be terribly delayed in arriving.
Remember my name? Yahweh remembers. That name was so popular in Israel over the years because it has been the nature of our nation’s history to believe that God does not remember … that He forgets … that it takes a long time for answers to problems and injustices. But God does not forget; He is always working His plan in His time. And His timing is always perfect – both in the big plan of things, right down to the details of each of our lives. And remember also that His plans are much bigger and eternal when compared to our small lives and brief time in this world.
God may choose to use our offspring to accomplish greater things than we ever imagined for ourselves.
I don’t know what it is like in this time and in this place, but too many people where I am from believe that they are the center of the world and that everything should circulate around them. The greatest achievement of our lives may be what we make possible through the family and generations that follow us. It is the place of greatest potential impact for all of us.
Pastor Randy told me in our brief time together that this is a major focus of this synagogue … and you should listen to him – he’s a really smart guy!
God is able to do the impossible, to bring life from that which is even dead.
There is simply no way possible that a child could be born to Elizabeth and me at our advanced age. But the God who created life in the first place was able to bring life to the death of her womb. This “life-giving” is God’s business.
We are all born dead – separated by sin from the perfect relationship such as God had originally intended in the creation of man. But there is a perfect plan of salvation that is to come through one person – God’s Anointed One – don’t miss that! Don’t overlook that. Don’t minimize the importance of the unfolding of that story.