So Zechariah walks out of the temple, down the steps, to greet a few anxious people now waiting for him, wondering what has taken so long.
He has encountered the messenger of God, sent to tell Him that the shame He and Elizabeth once endured, is now over. God was beginning a new work, and their Son would prepare the way. His response to that announcement is the reason he will be silent for the next nine months.
Unlike my situation, Zechariah does not have a choice, he will be silent for 9 months. Every day, His silence, though awkward, disruptive, and frustrating, will also serve as a daily reminder that God is in control, that God will keep his promise, and that our best response can only be, “Let it be to me, according to your word. “
Strange how the hardship of being unable to speak is at the same time a reminder of God’s power and faithfulness. That somehow the consequence for unbelief will daily point Zechariah to the arrival of their first Child, and to the God who has mercy and hears the prayers of the hopeless. Could it be that consequences, or hardships, or unwelcome life experiences, can be both corrective and redemptive — and that both can actually point to the Love of God?
I wonder how those months of silence, shaped the way Zechariah raised John the Baptist.
I wonder if the humility that comes with silent living, can be found in His Son, John, when he said, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie (Luke 3).
I wonder how the daily reminder that Zechariah, was not in control, was passed on to His Son, who would later say, “He must become greater, I must become less” (John 3:30)
I wonder if somewhere in the quiet that we work so hard to fill up with noise, God is preparing you and I in such a way that our lives point to “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29)