By Arvin Kaufman
In Luke 1, we find the story of Elizabeth, who was to be the mother of John the Baptist. She was a descendant of Aaron.
The Bible says both her and her husband Zachariah were righteous in the sight of God, observing His commands and decrees blamelessly.
Zachariah and Elizabeth were childless and unable to conceive. In addition, they were very old.
This looked like a very difficult and impossible situation they were in.
One day when Zachariah had been chosen to perform the priestly duties in the temple, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him.
Although he was afraid, the Angel told him to fear not and that his prayer had been heard.
Although Zachariah was serving the house of God, the Angel came to bring him a personal message concerning his private prayer.
This would have been unexpected for Zachariah. On this day of priestly duty, Zachariah would have been offering a different kind of worship to God in the Temple and burning incense.
The Angel said to him: “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John” (Luke 1:1). In addition, the Angel spoke to him about what John’s life would be about.
Zechariah found this all too magnificent, great and too good at the same time. He was having difficulty believing what the Angel had said to him.
And he asked: “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” Zechariah found this to be unbelievable. From what he could see and what he knew, it all looked impossible.
The Angel explained to John that he was Gabriel, and had been sent by God.
He added that because Zechariah was unable to believe it, he would be silent and unable to speak until the day the word of the Lord came into its fulfilment, at God’s appointed time.
Zechariah did not have the faith and confidence to simply trust God with this. Something he had prayed about.
So, when Zechariah left the temple he was silent. He only used signs, unable to speak with his voice.
Elizabeth gets pregnant
After all this, the story from Luke 1 says that Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and for five months remained in privacy.
What seemed impossible was coming to pass just as the Angel had said to Zechariah.
Elizabeth was going to have a child in her old age. For nothing is too hard for God. No word of His can ever fail (Luke 1:37).
Elizabeth was so happy and full of joy that she praised God, saying: “The Lord has done this for me, in these days He has shown His favour and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
We too should have faith, trust and confidence in God, knowing that everything he has promised us to do will come to pass.
He is faithful. The word the Angel spoke to Zechariah, came to reality.
Continue to believe that God will answer your prayers, even when circumstances look impossible like they did for Zechariah and Elizabeth.
At the appointed time, He will do for you all that He has promised you.