Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.
Today's Reading: Luke 1:1-7
Devo Author: Bart Sego
Date: December 9, 2021
Through 27 years of marriage, my wife and I have experienced a few times when it just felt like God was silent. We were abiding in His Word, seeking Him in prayer, and needing Him to show up in challenging circumstances – usually related to job issues when I worked in business or with financial issues for our growing family. Our stories are not unique; everyone endures hardships, and followers of Christ can usually point to times when they find themselves waiting for God to answer.
In verse five of his Gospel account, Luke picks up the story from Jewish history in a time when the Lord God of Israel had not spoken to His people for over 400 years. That means no prophets, no miraculous signs, no new scriptural writings for about 14 generations. To put this into perspective for our nation today, this would be like going back to the Jamestown Colony in the early 1600s with only silence from our Lord. Imagine if there was no evidence of God’s voice, healing, or instruction.
This is where Luke opens his account of the coming of the Messiah, which begins after a long silence. We are introduced to a priest and his wife who will play a role in the revealing of the Messiah. What we find out about this couple’s circumstances is that they have no child and are “advanced in years,” which means they are too old to begin a family – at least without a miracle.
However, we also learn about the character of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Even during this period of silence into which they have been born, they have continued to live righteous lives before God, walking blamelessly in His commandments and statutes. Though they had been unable to have children, they had obeyed God. Even as they grew old together, they had continued to trust in Him. It is a beautiful picture of a woman and a man who follow faithfully despite longstanding and difficult circumstances.
Interestingly, the name, Zechariah, means “Yahweh remembers.” What a perfect name for an aging husband who longs to be a father – and for the priest of a nation who longs to hear from their God again!
What about you? Have you ever felt forgotten by God? Do you find yourself now in a season where His promises seem unfulfilled and the comfort of His voice is far away?
For Gena and me, the Christmas story of the coming of Jesus is a reminder that God remembers. He remembers His promises. He remembers His people. He remembers us.
Stories of faith-filled living, like this one of Zechariah and Elizabeth, inspire and encourage us in the times when God is growing us to be ready for His big reveal. Our prayer is that you will continue on the path of pursuing, waiting, and obeying as you watch expectantly for the Lord and His purposes in your life.