The Chance of a Lifetime
Verse 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
Today we will start looking at some of the characters that pepper the Christmas story that we are so familiar with that we may overlook the conundrums their stories hold.
Our reading today introduces us to a couple well along in years. There wasn’t anything overly special about them in the eyes of the world. They weren’t royalty or very wealthy. They lived in the hill country and were both from the lineage of Aaron, meaning both of their fathers were priests and so was Zechariah. This would have given Elizabeth a good idea of what it was like to be the wife of a priest because she had grown up watching her mother deal with her father’s schedule of serving in the Temple 2 weeks a year.
The first thing we are told after their family line is that they are very devout in their living as God’s people. They not only obeyed every little letter of the law, they obeyed the spirit of the law. This means that they weren’t rigid, judgmental people but they understood what it meant to obey God in more than mere actions. Their hearts were dedicated to God and His ways. They wanted to obey God because they loved Him.
The fact that they were older meant that they had gone through many years of feeling less than due to the barrenness. They may have been the topic of conversation at the local market. Their friends and families would have long ago given up hope that they would be parents and they were likely thinking it was out of the question too.
Our key verse goes even further to say that Elizabeth was unable to conceive. It wasn’t that they just didn’t have children, they couldn’t have them. We know from other stories in Scripture that a barren woman was unfulfilled in life. It may have been in the elephant in the room at every family gathering. And a heartache for the couple year after year. But what if God had given them children before? Would this special gift from God have felt like just one more kid?
Making It Personal
When is a time in your life that you prayed and prayed for something and it seemed like God wasn’t listening? Did you give up asking? Did you give up on God?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever wanted something really bad and didn’t think you would ever get it? What kinds of things do you pray for? Does God listen to your prayers?
Father, thank You for being in control of all things, even things that seem to be out of control. Help us only desire the things that would please You and bring glory to Your name. In Jesus’ name, amen.