Monday, December 17, 2018

The angel answered,"I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time." Luke 1:19-20 NIV

 I have decided to choose a verse for each day this week that I like about the birth of Jesus. You may not see this verse often but I will explain why I like it. The angel has just told Zechariah that he and his wife would have a son, after many years of being barren and old.
 Zechariah was chose by lot to enter the holy of holies which happened once a year. As High Priest he may have waited years for this opportunity and he probably wouldn't have another chance in his life. He represented all of the people, and if he didn't do everything just right he could die from the intensity of the presence of God.

I don't know what thoughts were flowing through his head at this time, but maybe he was nervous about his duties? Was the angel in likeness as a regular man, and Zec didn't recognize him as Gabriel, coming from the throne room of God Himself?

It is hard for me to believe Gabriel would come in any way other than in magnificant splendor and power. Why would Zechariah not believe his words? Was he old and cynical about the power of God to do such a thing? Maybe he had never seen a miracle as this?

Before we write off Zechariah as an unbeliever, maybe we ought to remember God hasn't spoken to His people in 400 years. Miracles were talked about but not seen in his day. Every Israelite wanted to see the day of the Messiah as God had promised so long ago.

Mary had a visit from Gabriel too. Her response was different. "I am the Lord's servant, Mary answered. May it be to me as you have said." And the angel left her. Luke 1:38 NIV What a remarkable young woman she was. God's grace and strength was on her. What would I have said? I hate to think!

I think I would have argued with every excuse imaginable! To be publicly exposed as "with child" and not married? Not me, but what stands out in this verse to me is:"it will come true at it's proper time." Isn't this true for us too? God has set a time and hour for everything to happen at the "proper time."

It's not our time clock, but His. Why the 400 years of waiting? Why did Zechariah and Elizabeth have to beyond child bearing age? We may never know but it was the right time. Can we trust God with timing in our lives? Yes, we can.

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