And behold, (the angel said) you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place (Luke 1:20a).
Read Luke 1:20-22.
I can think of few times during the year when I would hate to lose my voice more than Christmas time. There are so many beautiful carols to sing, so many thrilling songs. It did happen one year in my ministry. I had to save my voice to preach and, as a result, sat silently as our members sang all those beautiful Christmas carols without me. It was frustrating beyond all measure.
What must it have been like for Zechariah to be silenced-not for a day or two-but for more than nine months? This should have been the happiest time in his life. It should have started with him stepping out of the temple, praising God with a loud voice. Instead, he can only try to make signs to communicate with the waiting crowds outside. God has left him unable to speak because of his unbelief.
At first, the worshippers in the temple court wondered at his delay since usually burning incense was a quick thing. But when Zechariah came out unable to speak, they read his gestures and realized he had seen a vision in the temple. But unfortunately he was unable to tell them what had happened.
The same will be true when he returns home to Elizabeth. He will have to watch God's marvelous plan unfold, seeing the dream he had long shared with his wife come true and all the while finding himself unable to speak a single word about it.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I confess my doubt and unbelief. Forgive me for Jesus' sake, and fill me with Your Spirit that I may trust Your Word and praise Your Name forever. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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