Waiting on God

Of all the people in the Bible, Zechariah, husband of Elizabeth and father of John the Baptist, is one of the ones who makes me scratch my head the most. We know how his story goes in Luke 1:5-26,57-80: while he's fulfilling his priestly duties in the temple, Gabriel appears, terrifies him, tells him he'll have a son, and then strikes him mute for his unbelief. Zechariah recovers his voice by insisting they name his son John, as Gabriel said, after he's born at least nine months later.

What strikes me as odd about Zechariah isn't the events of the story, nor is it the seeming harshness of his punishment. It isn't even how he fathered a child in his old age or how he was mute for so long. It's his unbelief. Of all people, Zechariah should have been waiting on God and expecting Him to show up. He was a priest married to a descendant of Aaron, the high priest. He was chosen to burn incense at the incense altar -- the closest you could get to the holy of holies without going in. So this priest of God and husband of the daughter of priests is standing mere feet away from the presence of God -- and when God's mouthpiece appears to deliver a message to him, he responds with surprise, fear, and unbelief. Zechariah hadn't expected God to show up.

We're like that, too, aren't we? We come to church, we pray, we preach -- and we don't expect God to show up. We don't wait for Him; we just assume He's not coming to do anything spectacular today. How much more powerful would our worship be, how much more effective our prayers, how many more souls would we see saved if only we truly believed God would be there with us?

Wait on the Lord. Expect Him to show up.

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