Verse 20 “And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
We finished our time together yesterday with Zechariah expressing his doubt that he and his wife would become parents. While we can understand his doubt it was still a sin that required a consequence. But God in His mercy gave a punishment that would only last until God’s promise was fulfilled. Zechariah had nine months of being mute to think about the doubt he had displayed. Not being able to readily communicate gives much time for thinking. It also helps a person see that not everything that comes to mind is necessary to be spoken.
Zechariah would have plenty of time to think during these nine months. And he likely thought long and hard about the question he asked and the doubt behind it. See, when Gabriel told Zechariah who he was he also said he was standing with God. Note that he uses present tense as if he is in two realms at once – one with Zechariah and one with God. This was to tell Zechariah that he was hearing details that were being given in the moment. The pronouncement of being mute for the next nine months was given in direct answer to the motive of the priest’s question.
The question that Zechariah asked came from an understanding that it was not physically possible but it also showed he thought that God could only make it happen through physical means. God broke His silence to this man and then sentenced him to silence because it showed that though an obedient man, he didn’t take God at His word.
It isn’t the fact that he asked a question, it had to do with the doubt in God that it was asked with. We can struggle with this kind of doubt too. When things come up in life that don’t make sense to us we are quick to question God’s reasons for allowing them to happen. When we are given a cancer diagnosis just when life was starting to make sense. Or maybe when we lose our job just as we figured out how to budget in a way that our debt would be paid off sooner than we thought. Things like this can make us question what He is doing in our lives but we aren’t to doubt His goodness and faithfulness in the midst of the uncertainties of life.
Making It Personal
When have you found yourself questioning God with doubt? Did it hinder your relationship with Him? What do you need to trust God about today?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever asked Jesus about something that doesn’t make sense to you? Why is it important to trust what Jesus says? Is there something you need to trust Him about today?
Father, thank You for being trustworthy in every way. Help us learn to trust You even when Your way doesn’t make sense to us. In Jesus’ name, amen.