And Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time." And the people ... were wondering at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them ... And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. (Luke 1:18-22)
Oh dear, arguing with an angel. That was a mistake. And doubting God's Word was an even bigger one. No wonder Zechariah got nine months of silence to think about the error of his ways!
But in spite of the embarrassment, it must have been a fruitful, blessed time as well. For Zechariah had time to think—to consider all the wonderful gifts God was showering on him and on all people through John's birth. Because John is Jesus' forerunner—the servant who comes immediately before the King to set everything in order. John's birth meant Jesus Himself was just around the corner!
Zechariah messed up—but God still blessed him and kept His promise. We too mess up and sin on a regular basis—but God blesses us with the Child of Promise, Jesus our Savior, who gave Himself for us so that we might belong to Him forever.
WE PRAY: Thank You, Lord, for blessing me even when I mess up. Amen.
* What do you think led Zechariah to argue with an angel?
* How do you think he spent those nine months?
* Where do you think he found out more about John's work in the future—and Jesus'?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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