Day 2

Zechariah & Elizabeth

Luke 1:5-25, Luke 1:57-66, 1 Samuel 1:9-18, Psalm 113:5-9

BY Erin Davis

In our broken condition, even mustard-seed faith is often hard to muster. Take Zechariah, for example. In the first chapter of his Gospel, Luke records that Zechariah had many reasons to trust God. He came from a family of priests who had served God for generations. Surely, the stories of God’s faithfulness had trickled down through Zechariah’s family line. Or maybe through the line of his wife, Elizabeth, who was also from the line of Aaron.

Who was Israel’s first high priest (Numbers 17:8–18:1).
Whose feet had felt the dry sand at the bottom of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:15–31).
Who tasted manna with his own taste buds (Exodus 16).
Who entered the holy of holies and saw God appear in a cloud above the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:2–3).

What stories of God might they have heard?

Zechariah was a praying man who had asked the Lord for a child, and Scripture tells us God heard that prayer (Luke 1:13). Since Zechariah and his wife were “well along in years” (v.18), we can assume they had been praying for a long time, likely decades. Hadn’t Zechariah kept praying in faith? Hadn’t he asked, expecting God to respond? Luke reveals that as Zechariah entered the temple to offer the incense offering, “the whole assembly of the people was praying outside” (v.10). Was his faith strengthened by the image of an entire assembly seeking the Lord?

With a heritage of faith, a history of God’s faithfulness, and the prayers of the people ringing in his ears, you’d think that trusting God would come naturally to Zechariah. Except, of course, it didn’t in this moment. When Gabriel announced that God heard Zechariah’s prayers and was about to do all that Zechariah asked and more, Zechariah replied, “How can I know this?” (v.18). From my own human experience, what I hear in his words is this: “How can I know for sure?” It seems Zechariah was overcome with doubt, not faith. Though he had so many reasons to stand tall on his trust in God, the legs of Zechariah’s faith wobbled. The angel struck him mute as a result (vv.19–20).

Because our hearts are still bruised from the fall, unwavering faith is hard won. Despite all that God has given us, do you, like Zechariah, still doubt that He will come through? Me too. When my need leads me to the intersection of fear and faith, I look at God’s promises and think, How can I know for sure?

Lean in. Listen to the angel’s answer.

“You will become silent and unable to speak until the days these things take place,
because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time” (v.20).

Though God certainly calls us to trust Him, we can read Zechariah’s story and find hope. Zechariah’s weak faith did not weaken God’s power. His doubt didn’t stop John, the forerunner to Jesus, from being born. When your own legs of faith start to wobble, take courage, because nothing can stop the plans of God.

Post Comments (109)

109 thoughts on "Zechariah & Elizabeth"

  1. Sheri Sullivan says:

    Even when we doubt, Gods plans are already at work. I have the hardest time seeing the end result. Something I need to work on a lot more.

  2. Sadie Dybizbanski says:

    Great reminder that our faith doesn’t not alter God’s will only our involvement and experience of His will being carried out.

  3. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love that God still answers our prayers, even when we doubt. His plan still come to pass not because of us, but in spite of us.

  4. rebecca kilo says:

    if anyone has doubt that something they want isn’t going the way the want it to , trust God has a better plan . sometimes the things we want aren’t what’s best for us .

    1. Jennifer Anapol says:


  5. Rhonda Wood says:

    Jeremiah 33:3 call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know. Sorry I didn’t type the whole verse
    I know that my God hears and knows what is happening and That He is for me not against me. He will lead me to still waters and He will restore my soul. Jesus has shown me to focus on His word and worship when I am down or discouraged to turn my eyes upon Him. He also told me to collect rocks and ponder on all the times He has answered prayers and worked in my life or others in my family. I prayed so long for my abusive alcoholic father to know the lord and He just got baptized and is following Jesus at 83 years old and was delivered from his addiction in Jesus name! My sister also got saved and baptized a few years ago as well and is following the Lord. I never thought that would happen but Gods ways are not our ways. I kept praying and God answered my deepest desire for them to know him!
    My God is in the business of saving and restoring families and individuals. I am constantly being reminded not to look at what is happening when persecution comes but to think eternally look up and see my salvation for that comes from the Lord. Keep your eyes focused on him ! And see His faithfulness write it down and ponder on it remember it when doubt creeps in to lie to you and say Where is your God? He will never leave us nor forsake us He is there. Just begin to worship him and read His words of truth!

  6. Rhonda Wood says:

    Jeremiah 33:3
    Call unto me and I will show you great and mighty things you do not know.
    God wants us to seek him pray to him and he will answer us and show us his ways. Moses prayed that God would show him His ways so he might know them and that is my prayer. Oh ,Lord Jesus show me your ways so I might know you and help me to follow you in all that I do today so your name may be glorified. Help me to see the lost as you see them and open their eyes to know you. Help me to hear your voice and follow you for your glory and for your honour . Amen

  7. Judy Thigpenn says:

    Knowing that God hears our prayers should bring us all hope but there are those moments when we need proof just like Zachariah. We ask the question God how long? So my prayer is that God will help me in the moments of doubts.

  8. Deborah Collazo says:

    He knows I doubt some times. He knows my faith fails me at times. I want to certainly know every time without doubts that He is there, always. But even if so doubt, He will not change. He doesn’t waiver like my emotions & feelings do. He will do as He has planned and it will be good. ❤️

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