Posted by: Barbara Wilbur for ElysJoy Church | December 1, 2011

Praise or Grumbling? Luke 1: 57-66

Zachariah's Song of PraiseRead Luke 1:57-66

Elizabeth’s baby has arrived!  The old man and the woman, well along in years are now the proud parents of a son.  Mary helps with the birth and then moseys on home to wait for her bundle of joy that will change the world and bring us more joy than we can imagine or deserve.

As God allows Zachariah to be able to speak again, as his tongue begins to loosen,  I wonder what thoughts go through his head?  Was he scared to try to speak or had God provided him wisdom to know that his discipline was nearing its end?  We can’t know his thoughts but his actions tell us thankfulness and praise for his child, for his answered prayer was bursting forth.  Even though he had gone through nine months of correction, his first words were of praise and not frustration.

I did find it interesting that the length of time God punished Zachariah was the exact time it takes a baby to go from conception to birth.  I wonder if Zachariah’s legalist, priestly ways needed to be “reborn”? Although scripture says he was a righteous man, we know his faith was challenged because of the encounter with Gabriel.  Maybe his punishment was actually a blessing.  He received nine months to listen to God instead of talking.  Imagine nine months of complete quiet time.  Scholars tell us by the reaction from the crowds at John’s circumcision that Zacharias was likely deaf as well as mute.  So his period of rebirth was silent too.  He could hear only God.  He had no choice but to listen.

For all of us that toss prayers up in the morning, then shift pace to our busy day, listening to God can easily be overlooked.  I thought back to my prayer time lately, and I wondered if like Zachariah when I left my time with God, did I offer up praise or begin delegating tasks at work, talking to the kids about breakfast or even uttering cross words to my husband.  I shudder to think they are probably not what they should be.  I cross from the presence of God to a carnal world ruled by the flesh.  What I forget is that we are always in the presence of God through the Holy Spirit.  He is here now as I type these words.  I hope today, my lips can be a statement of praise like Zachariah’s.  How about yours?

photo credit: Christian wallpaper.net

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