Scripture Reading: Leviticus 26:14-27:34/ Luke 1:1-25 / Proverbs 7:1-5
Each morning, a 2 yr. old boy kissed his father and saw him get on the elevator right outside the door of their 42nd floor high-rise apartment. The little boy could hardly wait until his father got off the elevator and he would jump into his arms. Some time later, the father learned the little boy thought his father spent the entire day in the elevator! Children have a wonderful perspective and bring great joy to our lives.
Not everyone wants children but there are those who desperately want children but can’t. The book, “Barren Couples and Broken Hearts” addresses the devastating journey of married couples that desperately desire children but are unable to have any because of infertility. They live in a world surrounded by women who have unwanted or unexpected pregnancies while they struggle to become pregnant.
Elizabeth and Zechariah wanted a child but she was barren. They were devoted to God and to one another but reached an age where child bearing was unrealistic so they accepted it as God’s will. Elizabeth still struggled with the disappointment and considered being childless a “disgrace”. (Luke 1:25)
Her feelings were understandable because being able to bear children was a woman’s highest calling. Some may have assumed her infertility was a result of the presence of sin or God’s condemnation but Elizabeth knew differently. We read that God had something special in store for women who remained barren for some time. Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Hannah were women who bore promised children late in life. God had a divine purpose for Elizabeth and it was about to be unfolded.
Zechariah was one of 18,000 priests and he served in the temple twice a year but only once in his life would he be chosen to assist in the daily offering and go into the holy place. This was his chosen day and when he entered the holy place, he was startled and gripped with fear as the angel Gabriel appeared and told him, “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (vs.13,17)
God had remained silent for 400 years and was about to speak again through their promised son, John. He would go with the anointing of the prophet Elijah and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit while in Elizabeth’s womb. John was to be the forerunner of The Messiah, preparing a way with a message of repentance.
From barrenness to promised son…this was too much for Zechariah to comprehend and even believe. God left him literally “speechless” until John’s birth. Rest assured, God knows your heart, He will answer your prayers and He may even leave you speechless. Don’t give up when you find yourself barren in life and it seems like God is far removed. God hasn’t forsaken you…He has perfect timing!