I’ve been reading through the gospels lately. I was tempted to skim through the birth account in Luke, but something made me slow down… Zechariah. You know the priest who went to the temple and an angel appeared to him and said he was going to have a son, and to name him John – and then Zechariah didn’t believe him, so the angel made him mute. Remember him? :-)
It just kinda hit me that maybe Zechariah was made mute to develop his character. God just wasn’t being mean – it was actually a loving act of discipline. When the baby was born, Zechariah obeyed God by ensuring his name was “John,” and his speech was returned in the presence of many witnesses, thus God received GLORY.
God is also glorified through the private goings-on in Zechariah’s heart during those 9 long months. I imagine Zechariah’s heart was changed from unbelief to repentance to grumbling to surrender to contentment to anticipation to praise. Whatever happened in Zechariah, it was good! God’s glory was also revealed not only in the miraculous return of Zechariah’s voice – but that his first words were not cursing God for the hardship but blessing and prophesy…
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David (Luke 1:68-69).
God took Zechariah’s unbelief, pressed it down and multiplied it into more good than Zechariah could muster in his muteness. God’s good at that. And I love the people’s response!
And a fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him (Luke 1:65-66).
What then will this child be???? I’ll write about that tomorrow :-)