Last Monday I spent time studying a new couple after K and I did a bible study in Luke. Luke is a gospel I have never studied before. It's very interesting because he was a doctor and is the only writer to record John the Baptist's birth. Which brings me to our couple for today: Zacharias and Elizabeth, parents of John the Baptist. I studied Luke 1:1-25.
Zacharias was a Jewish priest and his wife Elizabeth was from a family of a priestly line. After doing a little research, I learned because Zacharias was a priest, he was expected to marry a woman who was of a priestly and religious family. Both were righteous people in God's eyes; it wasn't just out of obedience but it came from their heart.
Elizabeth was unable to conceive, so they prayed all the time for God to give them a child. Being childless was actually viewed as a curse. An angel appeared to Zacharias and told him in verse 13-15 that Elizabeth would give birth to a son and he was to be named John.
Let's stop for a minute and talk about faith.
God answers prayers...just in his own time. I think that is one of the most important lessons from this couple. I had a funny lesson with that before K proposed. Of course at the time it didn't seem funny. I prayed and prayed for K to finally take the big step. I knew that God had brought us together and I knew K was the one I wanted to spend my life with...but I had been waiting 6 years. So I kept praying. I even tried to take matters into my own hands and gave K an ultimatum. Not one of my brightest decisions...let me tell you. The crazy thing was we had talked about getting married...we loved each other so much and I knew he wanted to marry me. But God had fun with me. In 2006, I had told K that I wanted him to propose by June. What was I going to do? Nothing...I had no intentions of taking serious action. I was just so tired of waiting. I thought it might scare him. K proposed on July 8th, 2006. The point of this story is if I would have just trusted God and put my faith in Him, everything turned out ok. I wouldn't have had to put us through that. I learned a great deal about my faith after that test and changed my way of how I handle decisions. I have put my full faith in Him when I am faced with something. And K and I both trust Him when we face something as a couple or pray about it until we get an answer.
So back to our couple. Zacharias made a mistake also when the angel told him about the pregnancy. He doubted and wanted a sign of how he could know it was true. God responded to his doubt with the consequence of Zacharias being mute until the baby was born (vs 18). Even the most religious people have doubts...but it is how we handle those doubts that matter.
Something I found really interesting was when Zacharias came out of the sanctuary, people waiting for him realized he was mute by his signing. My question was...why didn't they think he was crazy? After doing some research and reading, I learned he was highly respected and they just knew he had received a vision. That was pretty amazing to me.
Let's talk about Elizabeth for a minute. When she realized she was pregnant, she went into seclusion for 5 months. There isn't a documented reason, but because of their faith it is believed that it was out of reverence to God.
"How kind the Lord is!" She exclaimed. "He has taken away my disgrace of having no children." (NLT vs 25)
Since being childless was seen as a curse, she was so happy God answered her prayer. Although Zacharias doubted, because of their age, they never gave up praying for God to give them a child.
This couple teaches a lot about faith and how to have faith as individuals and as a couple. They continued their devotion to God by following through with naming the baby John, although the family wanted to name him after Zacharias, which was customary.
I hope you enjoyed this study as much as I have! Until next time, have a good night!