My wonderful wife Janet who write her own blog Chocolate and God wrote this Bible study the other day. So many have enjoyed this study that I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy and please share it with others.
Luke 1: 8-11 Now while he (Zechariah) was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty according to the custom of the
priesthood he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
I am sure we have all read the story of Zechariah being told by the angel Gabriel that his prayer had been heard and his wife was going to have a son and they were to call his name John. Zechariah asked for a sign that this was true and Gabriel told him that he wouldn’t be able to speak until the child was born since he didn’t just believe his words. It’s real easy to look at this situation and wonder why Zechariah would question this when he had an angel standing in front of him telling him, but did you realize that it had been 400 years since God had spoken to anyone in Israel? It had been 400 years since God had spoken through the prophets and the Israelites had been through a lot during that time and still no one was hearing from God.
How much are we like Zechariah? On the one side; how often do you pray and pray and yet you aren’t really expecting anything miraculous from God? You go through your every day routine, praying and maybe even fasting but there would be utter surprise if God answered you today! Zechariah wasn’t quite ready for his answer even though he had prayed for years.
On the other hand; when God is silent do you get so discouraged that you don’t continue to do what you are supposed to be doing? Maybe this is the lesson to learn from Zechariah; he wasn’t the only one that God was silent to, it was the entire nation – think of how horrible that would be, no one was hearing from God and it wasn’t for 4 days or even 4 years it was for 400 years! But, regardless of God’s silence Zechariah continued to be faithful and continued to serve God on every level. When you don’t get an answer right away or you feel as though God is silent, do you get angry and quit serving or do you become indifferent and stop reading your Bible? What is your response to God’s silence or God’s answer of “wait”? Zechariah was still where he was supposed to be and doing what he was supposed to be doing, how else will you hear from God?
I would encourage each of us today to examine our hearts and know that even though God is silent He is still working. In Israel’s case He was preparing the way for the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings – Jesus. What great things is He preparing for you in your life that may take just a little bit longer before He says, “ok, here’s the plan, here is what I have been working on for you.”? The key is to remain faithful and to believe that the best is yet to come, God is working even if He isn’t talking, He hasn’t forgotten you, He is working hard on your behalf so do your part by remaining faithful, serve Him with your whole heart as if you had your answer today because you never know which today it is that will hold your answer! It could be today – ah ah, where is your faith, don’t allow Satan’s lies to rob you of your joy as you wait because your answer is truly closer than you think! Rest in God today knowing that He loves you and He will bring it to pass and be faithful to Him as you wait!
Quote: “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” Publilius Syrus
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