2009-12-10 - Learning from Correction
Luke 1:63-64 And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, "His name is John." And they were all astonished. 64 And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God. (NASB)
Imagine - not being able to speak for many months. Basic simple communication was taken away from Zacharias because of his disbelief at the announcement of Gabriel. A Priest in the Temple is confronted by an Archangel and Zacharias scoffed at the idea that Elizabeth would have a son. Nothing is too hard for God. There is nothing that God is unable to do, but there are things He will not do. There is a distinct difference.
While there are many problems that would have been more crippling to Zacharias, this was a clear reminder to him that God is bigger than anything we are able to think or ask. One of the desires of Zacharias' heart must have been to have a son. Here Gabriel himself appears and presents the news. The Priest allows his understanding of human limitations dictate his willingness to accept that God had chosen to bless him and Elizabeth beyond human reason. Gabriel struck Zacharias dumb until God's announcement would be accomplished. Zacharias would have a son and he would be named John.
The father-to-be had many months to reflect on his choice - his sin of disbelief. During this time he must have repented and spent time in waiting and thinking about was was happening to him and his family. God had interviened directly in their lives. That alone is a staggering through and still it happens to us, if not less dramatically, more often than we realize. At the time of his son's circumcision he was given a tablet and confirmed that the boy would be named John, and God loosed his tongue. Zacharias poured out his heart in praise to God who had given he and his wife such a blessing. Their son, who was given to them beyond human expectation, would be the forerunner of the long awaited Messiah.
At the news she would have a son Elizabeth spoke with gratitude that, "He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men." The thing that she desired greatly and was sure was beyond her grasp had been given to her.
God has told us that He will not withhold his correction from us. Please do not misunderstand - every instance of trouble we have is not God's chastening. Some are opportunities to shine through the trouble and trust God for the world around us to see. Here Zacharias is gently corrected and learns the lesson that is offered. How much better it would be if we all took the path that Elizabeth took. There will be times we don't. When that happens - I'm going to say something that might sound odd here - let it happen. Accept it as Zacharias did. Knowing for all that time the things Gabriel had told him and not being able to share it clearly with even his wife must have been difficult. But he stored them up and the thoughts mounted one on another and burst out when he could speak again. He took advantage of the time he had been given during his correction.
Grace and Peace,