December 02, 2008


Luke 1:5-25

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this?”
Luke 1:18


Do you think that, as Zechariah entered the temple, he expected to hear a message directly from God? I don’t think so. The last time God had spoken directly with any of his people had been through the prophet Malachi, four hundred years earlier.

Of course, God had been at work during that “wordless” time. He brought the mighty Roman Empire into power, and it built a vast network of highways, imposed a common language on the known world, and created an international peace that would pave the way for the spread of the gospel. God also supervised the development of the Jewish synagogue system so that in many major cities throughout the empire there was a congregation of people who knew God and cherished his promises about a future Messiah. God did not explain himself over those four hundred years, but he was busy!

So Zechariah was startled when God’s angel suddenly appeared and brought a word from the Lord. He was even more startled when he heard the angel’s message. Like Abraham and Sarah, Zechariah was skeptical about the promise of a child in his old age. After four hundred years of silence God brings news of a baby?

Zechariah’s story makes me wonder what God is busy working on today. If God revealed it, would I be skeptical? How about you?

Dear Father, I am often clueless, blind, and self-willed. Thank you for including me in your plan. Make my mind sharp, my eyes keen, and my heart responsive. Amen.

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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