67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.
The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Devotional – Ps Raelle Smit (Discipleship Pastor)
Have you ever imagined you were the Bible character you were reading about? Have you ever placed yourself in their shoes and imagined what it would be like to live through what they did? I have, often. Doing so with Zechariah though, I find myself very challenged. I’m really not sure I would cope being silent for 9 whole months. Think on that – 9 months! Not a word!
Then I realise I have been in Seasons of Silence before.
Silence can be when you:
– Have a God given dream it is not time to walk in
– When you are wounded and must keep moving without revealing it to all
– Anytime when what is inside you has no place to find expression outside of you.
What we do in the Seasons of Silence is important.
We are not told what Zechariah did in his 9 months of silence but based on the outcome we read today I feel it is likely he spent it seeking God. I wonder if one of the specific things was to search the scriptures, examining the prophetic words that connected to Gabriel’s declaration regarding John. Words like Malachi 4:5-6
“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
Or Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3-5 that we read on Saturday.
And day by day, prayer by prayer, reflection on reflection, as he was forced to remained silent, the prophetic declaration would have had time to find root in his soul and grow.
His seasons of silence was realigning his heart to God, to believe in a miraculous, provisional God who would use him and his son.
In “Silence” seasons, we must be careful what we plant. And the best thing we can allow to grow is God’s Word. To read it, mediate on it and let is align our heart to God’s way.
Zechariah’s “Silence” season grew a song: the one we have just read today. I like to imagine that with each passing month of silence the song, that started as a single tentative melody grew and grew till it became a full blown symphony within his heart and soul that could no longer be contained.
And then in a torrent of praise his song burst forth in sound for all to hear. The silence was broken by the obedience of naming his son according to God’s choice.
Obedience brought the song to life.
And what a beautiful song it is. Full of praise for a God who saves and provides and rescues. Full of prophesy over his son John, that points not to John but to one greater who is to come, Jesus.
The Season of Silence has become the Season of Song!
What Season are you in? Silence or Song? What is this Advent season bringing for you?
If it is a Season of Silence let the silence be a gift. Let it give you time to reflect, time to consider, time to sit with the state of your soul and with your Lord, Saviour and Friend.
Let’s plant His truth in the soil of our Silence.
Let’s obediently follow His word
And watch as the Song bursts forth from our Souls.
Seasons of Song can follow our Seasons of Silence!
And if you are in a Season of Song let it ring out for all to hear. Our wonderful Saviour has come. The battle is won! And thanks to Him we are victorious and free.