But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. ~Luke 1:13
All of us are familiar with the name John the Baptist. When we think of John, we think of one of the most colorful figures of the New Testament. He was the bridge between the Old and the New. He was the forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ who came in the spirit and power of the prophet Elijah. As great as John was, few consider or think about the significance of John’s father, Zacharias. There are powerful lessons for us from the life of Zacharias. His name means “Remembered of Jehovah.” He is a beautiful picture of the fact that we are unforgotten.
We see Zacharias the PRIEST.
Zacharias was a faithful lifelong servant of the Lord. As a priest, he represented men before God. His specific task in the temple was to burn the daily incense. The burning of incense is a picture of the prayers of God’s people. As he faithfully executed this function, the smell of the incense was a very familiar one. The time that he took to offer it was unrushed and carefully performed. He did not become bored or lackadaisical concerning his service. We read of him and Elisabeth his wife: “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” He served God with a faithful and fervent heart. Do not be weary in well doing. Perform your duties with freshness and passion each and every time.
We see Zacharias and his PRAYER.
On one particular day while he was performing his office and the people were outside praying, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him his prayer was heard! Zacharias and his wife were people advanced in age. They could conceive no children during the many years they were married. Gabriel told him, “Thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” He had been persistent in his praying. He had been righteous in lifestyle as he prayed. Now, after many years of asking, God answered his prayer! Don’t give up on praying for God to do the impossible. Keep asking God for the salvation of your unsaved family and friends. Keep asking God to show Himself strong in your difficult health trials. Zacharias was unforgotten in his praying!
We see Zacharias and his PREVENTION.
Zacharias was frightened to death that the angel Gabriel was standing before him. His first thoughts were, “What did I do wrong?” After the angel’s announcement, Zacharias reacted with shock and complete disbelief. “And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.” At this very special moment, Zacharias doubted God’s Word! He considered his human circumstances and was thinking, “Show me another sign.” Many of us do ourselves a disservice and disrespect the Lord when we do not accept with absolute faith God’s ability to do the impossible in our lives. As a result, God held Zacharias’ tongue from speaking or uttering a word for the entire time Elisabeth carried the baby in her womb. His speaking ministry was muted until the birth of the baby. Be careful of the consequences of unbelief.
We see Zacharias and his PRIZE.
Nine months passed by and the promised son, John, was born. After the baby was born, neighbors and friends suggested the baby be named after his father. Elisabeth said, “No, his name shall be John.” When they turned to Zacharias and asked him, he wrote out on a tablet, “His name is John.” At that specific moment, his tongue was loosened and he was able to speak again. There he gave praise and glory to God for the miraculous birth of John. From this point forward, no more is said about Zacharias and Elisabeth. They would spend out their lives raising one of the greatest men ever.
Zacharias was unforgotten. God’s timing in his life was always precise. Have faith in God and expect the unexpected! Remember you are “remembered of Jehovah” as well!
Have an inspiring God Morning!