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Dumb Sign

My son is currently obsessed with Superbook. It’s an animated Bible series. The show doesn’t just recount the familiar favorites like Noah and Moses, it also tells the story of less popular characters like Nehemiah and Ezra. I appreciate that the show realistically portrays the Bible, no singing tomatoes here! IYKYK… One of my son’s favorite episodes is about John the Baptist’s birth. He can tell me the whole story of Zechariah and Elizabeth and I especially love when he gets to the part about naming the baby. He says to me reverently “Zechariah said ‘His name is John!’” Zechariah said these words after a period of God appointed silence. When the angel Gabriel came to tell Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth would have a son, Zechariah doubted. So, God shut his mouth until after John was born.

A few things to note. Zechariah and Elizabeth were both old and past the typical childbearing age. The promise of a child was a barely remembered whisper. They had given up on this dream. I’m sure you know what that feels like Preacher Girl. There are some dreams that just get lost because we haven’t seen them come to fruition.  Today, I want you to say to yourself:

"I will live to see the day God remembers His promise."

You see, Zechariah and Elizabeth had lived a life where the lack of a child weighed heavily on them. In their society, Elizabeth’s childlessness was a stigma. Yet, they continued to serve God. They both were from the lineage of priests and their partnership was a divine partnership. God doesn’t make mistakes and He doesn’t delay His promise without a purpose. Zechariah and Elizabeth’s son John would be the one to prepare the way before Jesus – he HAD to be born…but at the right time.

Speaking of timing, Zechariah served in the temple all his life. Every year, a priest was chosen to offer incense in the Holy Place. I’m sure he had waited in that place many times hoping to be called. As a young priest I could imagine his joy in the anticipation. But as the years slipped by, that same joy turned into the expectation of disappointment. Now suddenly, it was his turn! He was finally chosen to go into the Holy Place and offer incense. Even so, that same expectation of disappointment lingered as he stood at the altar of incense and encountered Gabriel. When Gabriel tells him that he will have a son, Zechariah’s disappointment responds, “how could it be so?” Gabriel greets him with the first words heard from God in 400 years and Zechariah’s response was doubt!

PG’s have you ever told someone your plan for something great and they doubted it? How did that make you feel? For some of us, that doubt would permeate our dream. It would cause us to doubt ourselves. Because Zechariah’s disbelief couldn’t hinder God’s plan, God shut him up. He would have gone home and reported the encounter with Gabriel to Elizabeth and caused doubt to enter her heart as well. Remember, Zechariah and Elizabeth are in a divine partnership, brought together to fulfill a God plan. The name Zechariah means God remembers and the name Elizabeth means His oath. Together their union means God remembers His oath. Zechariah in his doubt and as the head of his household could’ve canceled God’s oath. He would’ve dismissed the miracle of God as a mistake. Preacher Girls, we might have to shut up to get what God is giving us. God turned Zechariah into a mute so that His plan to prepare the way for His Son could happen.

Today don’t let your unbelief cancel the promise God has given you. Even when you least expect it, God is able to fulfill what He has said. When Zechariah was chosen to offer the incense, he not only got to hear the first words from God spoken in 400 years, he got to SEE an angel! When you’re chosen by God, He will show you things no one has ever seen. So, don’t let your patience run out on God PG, because His patience certainly never runs out on you.

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