Friday, December 20, 2013

Advent Day #20 - Luke 1:57-66

When it was time for Elizabeth's baby to be born, she gave birth to a son.  And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.  When the baby was eight days old, they came for the circumcision ceremony.  They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father.  But Elizabeth said, "No!  His name is John!"  "What?"  they exclaimed.  "There is no one in your family by that name."  So they used gestures to ask the baby's father what he wanted to name him.  He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone;s surprise he wrote, "His name is John."  Instantly Zechariah coud speak again, and began to praise God.  Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills.  Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, "What will this child turn out to be?"  For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.

Once again, God shows that he controls the mouths of men.  Zechariah was struck dumb when he doubted the angel of God.  He then spends most of his wife's pregnancy unable to speak.  They invite their friends and neighbors to their home when they are going to circumcise their son.  Their visitors thought that the baby should be name after his father.  Elizabeth objects, and tells them that his name is John.  The neighbors do not accept this and so they go to Zechariah.  They gesture to Zechariah, and he asks for a writing tablet.  He writes that the baby's name shall be John.  Suddenly, Zechariah is able to speak again.  When the neighbors see the miracle, they are astonished.  The news of this spreads throughout the hills of Judea.  They recognize that this child will be very special.  They see that the hand of the Lord is on him in a special way.

How much do you think would be said in our churches if we were struck dumb every time we doubt God?  I am sure it would make worship very quiet.  Why do we find it so hard to fully trust God?  Isn't he the same God who delivered the Israelites from Egypt?  The same one who conquered Jericho?  He is the same God that made the deaf to hear, and the blind to see.  He raised people from the dead.  He, himself, was raised on the third day.  After his ascension, the Holy Spirit descended on the church and these men spoke in languages that they had never learned.  How could we doubt him?  God never changes.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  We must trust him.  He can more than we could ever expect.

Sometimes, I think we are struck dumb when he keeps his promises.  We forget when something amazing happens to praise him.  Remember Jesus during the triumphal entry, said if I silence the people then even the very stones will cry out.  Will we let the stones praise our God for keeping his promises?  Will we be drowned out my the stones when he works amazing deeds in our lives?  I pray that I am never in such a position.  I hope to praise him at all times.  Even when it seems hopeless, Praise him because he is still on the throne and he is still working!

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