Day 3 in Texas (Head home on the 5th). One more day of the Seminar tomorrow and we will be done. R and I had dinner with his daughter and her boyfriend which was such a nice treat. Tons of fun and laughter. Seeing the love of God in these 2 was so encouraging and inspiring as this culture and society have so many worldly pressures it puts on them.
And Zachariah said to the angel, By what shall I know and be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years. And the angel replied to him, I am Gabriel. I stand in the [very] presence of God, and I have been sent to talk to you and to bring you this good news. Now behold, you will be and will continue to be silent and not able to speak till the day when these things take place, because you have not believed what I told you; but my words are of a kind which will be fulfilled in the appointed and proper time. Luke 1:18-20 [AMP]
Remember yesterday the angel told Zechariah that he would have a son, he would call his name John, he could not have wine or any fermented drink, and he would bring many Jews back to faith in God…preparing them for the coming Messiah. Well now, today we have Zechariah’s response…
“How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah says. Holy crud! An angel of the Lord has appeared before you in the Holy Temple of God telling him all of this stuff! How many times in God’s word have we seen the Israelites ask for more when the God of Abraham has shown them something supernatural?? Ok, now, let’s get real. If I am being honest, I am guilty of the same thing. How many times has the Lord laid something on my heart and me knowing its Him, not respond in the way or timing that I know I should…I am no better.
Zechariah follows with more…”I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” Zechariah is now resorting to excuses as to why he thinks he has a right to question the validity of what the angel is saying. He is essentially saying, “Even if this is the Lord telling me what is going to happen, I am not equipped for this thing the Lord wants me to do.”
…and then the angel speaks – “I am Gabriel. I stand in the very presence of God, and I have been sent to talk to you and bring you this good news.” When I listen to this, my thoughts go to what must be going through Gabriel’s mind. First, Gabriel is essentially forced to give his credentials; he gives his name and then explains that unlike Zechariah, he not only understands what it means to stand in the throne room of God, but he has also had a direct command by God to come and give Zechariah this good news.
Now, Gabriel brings the hammer down. Without any pause for Zechariah to pullback his challenge, Gabriel now informs him that he will be unable to speak until these things he has said come to pass…why?…because Zechariah failed to believe. To reject Gabriel was serious and it would have its consequences. Gabriel leaves no room for uncertainty. What God has said will come to pass.
Abraham, Gideon, and Hezekiah all asked for signs too but the spirit of this request from Zechariah was ‘unbelief’.