Like Mary, Zachariah had a long song of praise to God after his speech was restored. Luke 1:76-79 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
The first part of Zachariah’s song, Luke 1:68-75, praised God for sending Messiah, as promised. He speaks of the holiness and righteousness of this Savior to come. In today’s scripture, Luke 1:76-79, Zachariah is praising merciful God for his own son, John, who will have a part in preparing the way for Messiah. John would be a prophet, prepare the world for the arrival of Messiah and give the people knowledge of coming forgiveness and salvation. Zachariah extols God for being merciful and sending a Savior to give light in a dark world, provide guidance and would show us the way of peace. Just as Mary praised God for His mercy to her people Israel, so Zachariah praises God for His tender mercy to all mankind for sending John to lead the way and providing a guiding light towards forgiveness and salvation in Jesus. Here Zachariah calls it the tender mercies of God. Mercy is not giving us what we do deserve which is death for our sins and total separation from Holy God. Tender mercy is mercy filled with love for us. The Message reads, “Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God’s Sunrise will break in upon us.” Love, sincere love from the heart, motivated God to send Jesus to save us. John 3:16 says it best, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” God loved us so much He sent Jesus to make a way for us to be made right with Him. That is mercy- we did not deserve. Romans 5:8 tells us, “ but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What a merciful God we have. He loved us and sent Jesus even knowing of our sinfulness and the great cost to His Son to redeem us. That is tender mercy from a loving God!
May your day be filled with His mercy and love towards you. Then give it out like God did by sending Jesus. You will be blessed.