Zechariah is unexpectedly surprised…opportunity to offer incense for the people, appearance of Gabriel, and the news that he’s going to be a daddy…and not just of any son, but a son with an amazing prophetic ministry, integral to God’s plan of redemption for His people.
Everything that God has promised in the OT is coming to pass. The plan is in motion, the stage is set. The showdown will be quickly underway. God cares about the salvation of His people…but as we said last week, He also cares about the salvation of the nations. He will rescue those who turn to Him in faith. He will reconcile heaven and earth. His plan has cosmic repercussions.
But this story reminds us that in the midst of the bigness of God’s plan for reaching all peoples, He is still concerned about the lives of individuals. He cared about Zechariah and Elizabeth’s pain. He knew the questions and sideways glances that others gave them. And while He could have answered their prayer for a son much earlier in life when it was more convenient and they had more energy, in His perfect timing He chose to bless them with an incredible son in their old age. God doesn’t conform Himself to our wishes or dreams for ourselves… God is not a genie in a bottle, and prayer is not a divine vending machine. He is actively involved in the lives of His people to bring about His purposes…His glory and our good.
God was actively involved in the lives of Zechariah and Elizabeth, and He’s actively involved in our lives as well. On the macro level, He wants to see this valley impacted for His kingdom. On the micro level, that happens as each one of us seeks to impact one or two around us, bringing them one step closer to Jesus. I love the fact that Zechariah and Elizabeth still trusted God in the midst of their pain…that they walked blamelessly. They weren’t perfect…we see Zechariah’s, doubt, even though he should have known better. But nevertheless they were committed to following God.
So what about you? What prayer are you waiting to have answered? Are you trusting God in the midst of it? How has He surprised you in unexpected ways? Who can you impact, bringing them one step closer to Jesus?
If you are not a follower of God today, the first step is trusting in Jesus. He’s the long-awaited Hero we’ve been longing for…the only One who can rescue us. He wants to give you life today. Don’t wait.
Until next time…stay salty.
This post is based on our Luke series entitled Redefining the Family. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster