2 Question 5

Zacharias and Elizabeth were the parents of John the Baptist.  Let’s read this account of the announcement of John’s birth in Luke 1:5-20 – “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.  And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.”  Zacharias was a priest of God.  Although he and his wife were old, Zacharias had been praying for a child.  One day, the angel of the Lord told him that his wife, Elizabeth, would bare a son.  That son, of course, was John the Baptist.  Zacharias doubted God and said, “Whereby shall I know this?”  In other words, “I need some proof.”  As a priest, and an aged man, he should have not doubted God, but he should have believed the words of Gabriel, the angel.  Verse 20 tells us plainly that it was because of this unbelief that Zacharias’ voice was taken from him.  It’s encouraging that although Zacharias did not believe the words of Gabriel that did not change the purpose of God.  As Gabriel goes on to say in verse 20, that his words would still be “fulfilled in their season.”  His voice was returned at the birth of John, when he wrote on a tablet, “His name is John.” As we read in Luke 1:57-64 – “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.”  Notice that when Zacharias’ voice was returned to him, he did not complain against the Lord, but he praised God.

It should be that even when the Lord does a work in our lives that we do not understand, our tongues should still praise His name.  James 1:17 tells us that, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  Remember, if it’s from the Lord it is good and it is perfect.  It is just what we need, even when we don’t know what our needs are.