Zechariah's story can be found in Luke 1. He was a priest who was obedient to God. As an older married couple he and his wife, Elizabeth, didn't have any children. His priestly division was the Abijah division, and he had 2 weeks each year to be on duty at the temple of the Lord. During his lifetime, there would have been a total of 700 opportunities to serve. With 20,000 priests, most would never get an opportunity to burn incense at the alter, but Zechariah had that chance and God spoke to him through the angel Gabriel, beginning the events that would break the 400 years of silence. A baby would be born to Zechariah and Elizabeth, and he would be like the prophet Elijah. He would make way for the Messiah!
Zechariah was unlikely because:
1. He was so likely - It would have been easy for him to be arrogant due to his righteousness.
2. Elizabeth was barren - she was "too old" to have a child.
3. The odds were stacked against him - but God makes the odds and he was the one burning incense at that moment.
4. He doubted - He said, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." (v18) He was talking to an angel and doubted. This is the same Gabriel would Interpreted Daniel's vision in Dan 8:16. He also announced the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus. Because he doubted, Zechariah was unable to speak until John was born.
When it was time for the birth, it was customary for the father of the child to have naming rights. Everyone expected the name to be Zechariah after his father, but Zechariah wrote the name, "John". Verse 64 says, "And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.
Zechariah means: Yahweh has remembered
Elizabeth means: God Is Oath
Their names together mean: Yahweh has remembered His Covenant. (May we never allow His silence in our lives to cause us to question His goodness and sovereignty in our lives.) We see the gospel connection in Hebrews 4:14-16. Every priest, High Priest, and human is broken and needs Jesus. God, through Jesus, removed the separation (the veil torn), and now His holiness is IN US through Jesus!
To Discuss Today:
1. Do you let pride creep in to your life and believe you are righteous enough? What areas do we need to be careful of?
2. When is a time you doubted God?
3. Take time to thank God for the miracle that is the Bible. Thank Him for speaking to us His Truth, His Promises, and His plans for us.