In this narrative, we find Zacharias and Elizabeth faithfully following the Lord and His ways. An area of lack remained in their lives despite this. Almost surprisingly, we discover that this lack was God-ordained! God had chosen this couple to bring forth John the Baptist–forerunner of Jesus–at just the right moment of time.
“There was in the days of Herod, the king… a certain priest named Zacharias… His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child…” Luke 1:5-7 (NKJV)
Encouraging truths from this passage:
- Lack does not always imply we are not serving God faithfully.
- Lack does not necessarily imply we are not at the right place at the right time.
- Lack does not mean sin is always the cause.
- Lack does not mean God doesn’t love us.
- Lack can be a God-ordained “delay” preventing something from happening outside of His perfect timing.
As the account continues, we see God showing up in the midst of Zachariah’s faithful service in the temple (Luke 1:11-17). The breakthrough he and Elizabeth longed for was about to be realized in a way far greater than they imagined!
“Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him… the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness… For he will be great in the sight of the Lord… filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.” Luke 1:11-16 (NKJV)
God gave them far more than they asked for!
The Lord gave this couple not only a child, but a place in history concerning Christ’s first coming. He gave them a son who would serve as the forerunner for Jesus. John would prepare the way of the Lord and help people’s hearts receive Him. The Gospels record John calling people to repentance from sin and idolatry, preparing them to receive the Lord when He came onto the scene (Luke 3:1-22).
What else can be gleaned from this?
- Stay faithful in loving and serving the Lord. Do what you know to do and do it loyally.
- In the place of lack, do not make a drastic move without seeking God to know if it is in alignment with His will.
- The time of breakthrough will come. Again, stay committed to the Lord as He has called you.
Don’t give up in the waiting. The breakthrough will come as you stay faithful even in the waiting, loving and serving God through the lack or delay. In a moment, God can take this season of lack and turn it into a place of blessing.
These verses from the Psalms provide similar encouragement:
“Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), they make it a place of springs; the early rain also fills [the pools] with blessings.” Psalm 84:6 (AMPC)
“…the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk up rightly.” Psalm 84:11 (AMPC)
In due time we shall be overjoyed, proclaiming with King David,
“You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; you have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness” Psalm 30:11 (AMPC)