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Shutting the Mouth of Doubt

“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.’”

– Luke 1:18-20

Today, I want to talk to you about Zechariah, a Biblical figure you may or may not be familiar with. Zechariah was a priest who was old and childless. His wife, Elizabeth, hadn’t been able to conceive, which was not only a personal tragedy in those days but also a source of shame for her and her husband. One day, most likely after years of waiting, Zechariah was chosen to burn the incense in the temple, which was a huge honor. In fact, it probably only happened to a priest once or twice in his lifetime. In his big moment, there were likely hundreds, if not thousands, of people present. As he got ready to burn the incense, he walked up the stairs and there were people praying for him and praying all around him. When he reached the top, he entered a room and shut the door behind him. After he was alone, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and delivered wonderful news; he told him that his dreams were going to come true and he was going to be a father. Not only that, but his son would be a forerunner to the Messiah and usher in His coming to earth! Wow — what a promise!

Unfortunately, Zechariah’s response to this announcement was a little less than stellar, and he said to the angel “How can I be sure of these things?” Not exactly the kind of faith-filled reaction God’s messenger was hoping for after delivering such good news. In fact, for his lack of faith, this seasoned priest was told he was going to be mute until the day his son was born. Now, oftentimes when we read that, I think we see it as being punishment for his doubt, however, beyond that, I believe Zechariah’s mouth was shut so that he couldn’t utter any more words of negativity and death over the amazing miracle that the Lord was bringing about in His midst.

Friend, I urge you to learn a lesson from this religious man, who had everything to gain and yet rejected God’s good promises for his future. Regardless of your age, financial situation, or state in life, it is never too late for you to see your God-sized dreams come to pass. In fact, the more impossible they seem, the more Jesus gets to reveal His power and glory in and through them! Say “yes” to God and trust Him to make straight the road that seems insurmountable and impassable. Don’t speak words of death and destruction over the things He has promised, but let your words be drenched in faith so that His goodness is magnified in every part of your being. As you do, you will inherit the abundant life Jesus died to give you, and that’s very good news!

Prayer


Thank you, Jesus, for the good news that you deliver to my life every day in the form of your promises. I choose to receive them and believe that they are “yes and amen.”

Reflection


Had you been in Zechariah’s shoes, what might your response have been when the angel appeared to you? What can you learn from this?

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