If you had been unable to speak for 9+ months, what would be the first words you would utter? Zechariah’s first words were praise to God. His disbelief in God’s power to give him a son in his old age brought judgement from the angel Gabriel. Luke 1:18-20. Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
In today’s passage, Elizabeth’s baby boy is 8 days old and was ready to be circumcised. This would begin his entrance into God’s family and the Old Testament Covenant with God. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.” Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. Zechariah had learned his lesson and knew to follow exactly what the angel had told him to do. They were to name the child John. Immediately upon making this declaration, Zechariah was able to speak. He had waited 9 long months to profess his faith and trust in God. Scripture tells us Zechariah’s speaking got the whole neighborhood talking about Zechariah, Elizabeth and who this child will turn out to be!
What lesson has God taught you that brought you into and through a time of silence? Did you emerge victorious and praising God like Zechariah? We learned earlier from Mary and Elizabeth that obedience brings blessing. Zechariah learned this too as he came out of his time of testing to blessings. He had a new son to raise, knew that his son was favored by God and would accomplish great things for God. His faith was renewed and confirmed as he knew who God was and what He could do in his life. Ask God to show you His direction and step out in obedience. You will be blessed.
Looking to Jesus for victory in my life,