Messy Monday – Zechariah

If you have been following our messy list, you would think that this weeks messy would be Noah.  However, you would be wrong.  We are going to skip over….ok, way over to the book of Luke for our next messy, Zechariah.

Now Zechariah was a priest who lived in the time of Herod.  He was married to Elizabeth.  They both lived according to God “careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God.” (Luke 1:6 Msg) (I wonder if I will ever be described this way?)  Yet, they were childless.  In fact, it states that this was Elizabeth’s fault.  I always wonder in situations like this how they knew?  Did Zechariah have other children from a previous marriage or relationship?  Why blame poor Elizabeth solely?…but I digress.

According to custom Zechariah was chosen to go to the Holy of Holies in the temple and burn incense   The angel of God appeared to Him.

When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.  Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.  And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:12-17 NIV84)

Then Zechariah sealed his own fate at being called a messy in the next line:

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” (Luke 1:18 NIV84)

Ouch!  This is actually one of the nicer translations.  The Amplified states “By what shall I know and be sure of this?”  While the Message is pretty to the point “Do you expect me to believe this?”  For a man who was supposed to know God’s word, he forgot the story of Abraham and Sarah and the blessing they received in their old age.  He actually questions God’s representative and in that God Himself.  As a punishment for his unbelief he lost his ability to speak.   Everyone would see how he and Elizabeth had been blessed but he wouldn’t be able to tell them the whole blessing for all of them.
As God told Abraham and Sarah (Gen 18:14) and later to Mary (Lk 1:37):  Nothing is impossible with God.  God created the world from nothing.  God gave Abraham and Sarah Isaac.  God lead Israel to Egypt to provide for them during a famine.  God lead Israel out of Egypt.  God provided Israel with sage judges, leaders and prophets.  God provided Esther with the opportunity to save her people.  God….you get my drift – NOTHING!!!!  We need to make the choice of choosing to believe as Mary did or to fight and question as Zechariah did.

I have to admit that I am like Zechariah.  I want to question and argue with God a lot.  Especially in regards to my children:

Why does my son have autism?
Why is my youngest autistic as well?
Why does my daughter have to face this alone?

These are a few of the questions I have cried out to God.  I have even tried to bargain with Him before my youngest was diagnosed.

Once the infant was born, everybody was going to name him Zechariah, after his dad.  Elizabeth said no that his name was John (Luke 1:61).  They then went to Zechariah.

Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. (Luke1: 62-64 NIV 84).

Zechariah had become truly obedient and submitted to God.  He had come to believe that nothing was impossible.   He had the bouncy, puking, screaming, cute proof before him.  He was set free from the bindings for his obedience.  We too will be set free when we come to trust and obey God.  We don’t need to receive a huge blessing to see this.  We can see it in the small blessings we receive   When I was angry at God about my circumstances it was because I focused too much at the people around me.  It seemed that many of my friends and family were having “normal” children.  I questioned God as to why I was the statistic and not the “norm.”  I have come to realize that God just wanted me to focus on His blessings.  All of them – big and small.  I probably get more excited than other parents when my sons learn something, like putting their boots on or brushing their teeth.  I have had to learn to trust God completely and to be content in the joy He does bring.  For He will bring you blessings.  
When we obey and submit to God, we too are fully blessed.  It may not be in large things.  It may be in the small things.  Blessings you might ignore if you are waiting for something huge to happen.  

What is God calling you to do?
What are you questioning God about?
How have you been released and blessed lately?

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