by Pastor Mike Fortune
November 23, 2013
- God can always use you while you wait (Luke 1:5-10; Psalm 5:3; Psalm 27:14) Vernon Maynard; Tom Coughlin
- Silence can be a good thing for spiritual formation (Luke 1:11-20; Ezekiel 3:26; Ezekiel 24:27; Ezekiel 33:22; Psalm 10:1; Psalm 44:23-24; Job 13:24; Matthew 27:46) Ezekiel, David, Job, Jesus
- God's kindness might leave you speechless (Luke 1:21-25; Numbers 6:22-27; Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
5 When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. 6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord's commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. 8 One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. 9 As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. 10 While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying. 11 While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13 But the angel said, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. 14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 16 And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. 17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly." 18 Zechariah said to the angel, "How can I be sure this will happen? I'm an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years." 19 Then the angel said, "I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20 But now, since you didn't believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time." 21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah to come out of the sanctuary, wondering why he was taking so long. 22 When he finally did come out, he couldn't speak to them. Then they realized from his gestures and his silence that he must have seen a vision in the sanctuary. 23 When Zechariah's week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home. 24 Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months. 25 "How kind the Lord is!" she exclaimed. "He has taken away my disgrace of having no children."
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.
Ezekiel 3:26; 24:27; 33:22
26 And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be speechless and unable to rebuke them, for they are rebels. 27 And when he arrives, your voice will suddenly return so you can talk to him, and you will be a symbol for these people. Then they will know that I am the LORD." 22 The previous evening the LORD had taken hold of me and given me back my voice. So I was able to speak when this man arrived the next morning.
Why do you stand afar off, O Lord? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
Arouse, yourself, why do you sleep, O Lord? Awake, and do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face, and forget our affliction and our oppression?
Why do you hide your face and consider me the enemy?
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
22 Then the LORD said to Moses,23 "Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing: 24 'May the LORD bless you and protect you. 25 May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. 26 May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.' 27 Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them."
4 "Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. 5 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.