Have you ever told a true story to someone who didn’t believe you? That what happened to Gabriel. Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties working his assigned shift at the Temple. He was chosen by lot to be the one who entered the sanctuary to burn incense. While he was in there alone, Gabriel appeared next to the smoke. He told Zachariah that the prayers for a child that he and Elizabeth had prayed were heard by God and that they would have a son named John. After Gabriel spoke prophetically about John, Zachariah said, “Do you expect me to believe this? I am an old man and my wife is an old woman.”
After hearing that, Gabriel made Zachariah mute until the child was born. When he returned home, I’m sure he motioned to Elizabeth about why he couldn’t speak. It was clear later, that they had communicated about this. Elizabeth believed the message from God. She had long prayed for a child and now God was answering her prayers. Even though she felt like she was beyond child bearing years, she had the faith to keep praying for a child. God honored her faith and answered when she could only believe it was Him. He proved to her that nothing is impossible to Him and it’s never too late to answer a prayer.
Gabriel also met with Mary about Jesus’ birth. While talking to her, he told her about Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Mary rushed to see Elizabeth. When she entered the house, the baby and Elizabeth were filled with the Holy Spirit according to Luke 1:41. Elizabeth then prophesied over Mary. One of the things she said is good for each of us to hear. In verse 45 she said, “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from The Lord.” God speaks to many of us about what He wants to do in our lives. As we get older, and time goes by, we quit believing what a God spoke to us.
Elizabeth reminds us that when God speaks a promise, we are blessed to keep believing it no matter how much time goes by. We choose to believe that it’s too late for God to move, act or fulfill His promise or we choose to believe that nothing is impossible. Elizabeth chose to keep praying even though the mirror told her she was too old. She kept believing even though history told her she was beyond the time for pregnancy. She kept trusting God’s promise instead of the reports she got from the doctors. She reminds us that those who can believe through all of that are blessed.
When her son was born, the people wanted to name him after his father as the tradition was. She rejected what her neighbors and community thought she should do and insisted on doing what the angel told her husband. The neighbors then went to Zachariah since she wouldn’t budge. Surely he wanted the honor of having his child named after him. When they asked him, he wrote on a tablet, “His name is John.” Immediately he could speak. The first words out of his mouth were blessings, praise and thanksgiving to God. He didn’t praise God because his tongue was loosed. He blessed God because He had answered his prayer.
Today, let your tongue loose to praise God even before you get your answer. Trust Him to be faithful to His promise to you. He has not forgotten what He said He would do. He will fulfill it in His time so that you will know that it was all God and no one else’s doing. God doesn’t care whys the doctors have said. He doesn’t base His promise on what family history says. He doesn’t even care what everyone else says. He cares about you and the promise He made. He cares that you keep believing in the hard times, through the dark nights and when all else fails. His word will not return void. He will do what He said He would if you believe.