Day 16

Zechariah is Struck Silent

from the Zechariah is Struck Silent reading plan


Luke 1:18-25, Romans 4:19-21

BY Guest Writer

Text: Luke 1:18-25, Romans 4:19-21

Righteous.

Blameless.

A priest of high repute.

These are the words that we’ve been given to describe Zechariah.

He is a man with a heart for God, and the Scripture wants to make that clear from the beginning. But Zechariah has also faced struggle. When we meet him, he is an elderly man who has never had children because his wife is barren.

One day, as was the custom, he enters the temple to burn incense while the people wait outside. As he approaches the altar of incense, Scripture tells us there is an angel sitting just to the right-hand side of where he will make his offering.

Zechariah was a man of duty, and the angel of God appears where he won’t be missed; right beside the altar he will approach in holy responsibility.

He is overcome with fear at the sight, and after the angel assures him he doesn’t need to be afraid, he whispers words Zechariah has probably never imagined would be spoken: “Your prayer has been answered; your wife will have a son and name him John…”

How could it be? After all, he’s well past his child-bearing years. He isn’t shy about making that point to the angel, either.

In response, the angel offers his name—Gabriel. In addition, he offers an explanation:

“Because of your disbelief, you’ll be unable to speak until this prophecy is realized.”

But Zechariah was a righteous man. A man who walked blamelessly; and because of this, he’ll be struck dumb? Why?

Because obeying the law isn’t the same as true belief.

The kind of faith God wants—the kind that is credited to us as righteousness—is that of Abraham’s, who believed in spite of his circumstances (Romans 4:19-21).

It’s the belief that lifts our heads from the words on the page and looks to the God who speaks them over us.

It’s the trust that comes when everything around you says, “impossible,” and yet you dare to hope anyway.

It’s the audacity to believe that His promises apply to us.

God silenced Zechariah until he could speak from a place that could actually testify to His power from personal experience.

He knew that on this day, Zechariah would walk into the temple out of duty. But He also knew he would walk out with something much more powerful; the faith that comes from an encounter with the living God.

It isn’t just about the pages; it’s about the Person.
It’s not only law; it’s love.

Lift your eyes, beloved.

If you’ve come here out of obligation, be sure you don’t leave that way.

The living God has given you a story and a voice to speak of Him; may your lips and your lives tell the story for the rest of your days.

______

Angie Smith is a speaker and the best-selling author of Mended, I Will Carry You, What Women Fear, and the recently released For Such A Time Is This. She holds a Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University and lives with her husband Todd and their daughters in Nashville, Tennessee.  

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For an added layer of worship during this sweet season of adoration and expectation, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for Advent 2014! You can find the complete SheReadsTruth | O Come Let Us Adore Him playlist at this link, or listen to today’s track on the player below. Enjoy!

Post Comments (83)

83 thoughts on "Zechariah is Struck Silent"

  1. Becky says:

    The kind of faith God wants—the kind that is credited to us as righteousness—is that of Abraham’s, who believed in spite of his circumstances (Romans 4:19-21).

    I have needed this more that I can say. it is so hard to have 'Abraham' faith when everything around me is saying, "You've got to be kidding me!" To hold onto hope when it seems that God would have already done it, if He was going to. To drive a stake in it and hold on with your dear life.
    It’s the trust that comes when everything around you says, “impossible,” and yet you dare to hope anyway.

    It’s the audacity to believe that His promises apply to us.

  2. Kasey Tuggle says:

    Love this! Obeying out of obligation is slavery! Obedience that flows from a grateful heart is freedom!!

  3. Cresonia Hsieh says:

    Seriously what I needed to hear. Kudos!

  4. drasch says:

    “Because obeying the law isn’t the same as true belief.” Oh my how I need to remember this every day.

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