– Inyang Okutinyang
Zacharias was not expecting what transpired between him and Angel Gabriel in the temple to happen that day. Notice right away that the scriptures refer to him and his wife as being righteous. They kept the law of God as best as anyone could be expected to. Even though they would have had questions in their minds, as to why they did not have children, and they would have tried over and over the years to have them, yet they did not get mad at God, or at life or at other people and their children. They remained lovely and faithful people. Not complaining to everyone about how unfair life had treated them. Can you remain sweet and pleasant, when you feel life and others are not treating you fairly?
Angel Gabriel’s first words to Zacharias, were reassuring he told him not to be afraid or alarmed, he revealed to him that his prayers had been heard and answered by God. He is somewhat confused, and at this point is thinking to himself “I have not even begun to pray yet. What prayer is he referring to?” The angel then says to him, you and your wife, Elizabeth shall bear a son, she will no longer be called barren, even though you both are well advanced in years. This son will bring great joy and gladness to your life.
If you had such good news delivered to you and, have been in the same situation as Zacharias and Elizabeth, would you too have believed and received it?
Zacharias did not believe the good tidings delivered to him by the heavenly emissary. In fact, he had given up completely on the possibility of the prayers he and his wife prayed years ago being answered. He actually questions the authenticity of the angel’s message. He sounds just like someone who has been disappointed numerous times and doesn’t want to go down the road of any more big-let-downs. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, judged God faithful to keep His promise to them, even though she had no one before her who she could look to for encouragement or inspiration who had been barren like herself and who now embraced a child. (Hebrews 11:11). Have you judged God as being faithful towards you, or are you judging Him based on what you feel He hasn’t done for you, or do you feel that His ways are too mysterious and complicated to be trusted?
Zacharias had long given up on his prayers. However, we are assured that God never forgets our prayers. In fact, they are before Him, giving up a sweet rich aroma in His presence.
Revelation 5 (NKJV)
8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.