Friday, March 16, 2018

The God of Miracles

"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).

Zechariah had been faithful all his life, blameless in his walk with the Lord. Now, when God’s angel finally appeared to him with a promise, Zechariah’s faith faltered just a little bit. He forgot all the barren wombs God had opened in the Old Testament and the aged women who gave birth to children, and he said, “How can this be? We’re too old.”

We read that the angel replied, “I am Gabriel.” A simple statement, a statement of authority. Gabriel means “Man of God.” What Gabriel is saying is that he knows all about Zechariah and Elizabeth, and how old they are, but that he is bringing a message from God Himself. “I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news” (v. 19). Because Zechariah did not receive the speaking of the angel, he was judged to “be silent and not be able to speak until the day this happens” (v. 20).

Meanwhile, the people were growing restless because Zechariah was taking so long. Why was he staying in the Temple? Had something happened? Finally, Zechariah came out, but he could not speak. Yet “they realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak” (v. 22). How did they know he had seen a vision? Perhaps they figured it out eventually from the signs he was making.

Yet the text implies that they realized it immediately. I think that the minute they saw his face, they knew that this man had been in the presence of God. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai after speaking with God, the reflected glory that shown from his face was so brilliant that the people could not bear to look at him. Just so, I think Zechariah brought the light of God’s glory with him when he came out of the Temple.

God is faithful to keep His promises. Does your faith falter at times when it comes to God’s promises? Select one promise today (perhaps Romans 4:20–22) and meditate on it this weekend. Observe the comfort His promises bring to daily living.