The Book of Luke, The Entrance of John and Jesus, Part III Ė Lesson 5
In light of Zachariusís response to Gabriel and the dumbness that Gabriel gave him in response to his lack of faith:
Most likely Zacharius and Elisabeth had stopped praying for a son many years prior because we are told that they were well stricken in years at the time of the visitation of the Angel.
We can learn from this event that God answers prayer but it is always well to remember that He does so in His own time.
After all God is sovereign and this is His universe!
John was to be born of Elisabeth and Zacharius but timing was everything because Johnís life was to be intertwined with the Son of God that was to come in the fullness of Godís time.
God could have used a younger child bearing couple to bring John into the world but God is not hindered by what we are hindered by and God wanted Zacharius and Elisabeth to be Johnís parents.
Godís timing is always paramount and our prayers will only be answered within the framework of Godís timing.
All things work together because God sees to it that they work together!
Hanna, the barren lady, was in bitterness of soul and prayed unto the Lord and wept sore we are told.
She had to have a son but until she vowed the vow to give Samuel to the Lord the Lord delayed giving her a son.
She was looking for a son but God was looking for a savior of his people.
If she wanted a boy, the Lord wanted and needed the boy even more.
God was waiting for Hanna to become willing to surrender her dearest treasure and when she vowed a vow and said ďO Lord of Hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life.Ē
It was upon this surrender that Hanna had her son, Samuel.
If faith picked a marriage partner she would never be impatience.
For faith and impatience are never good partners.
Someone has said that impatience is the hand that turns the key even before God has completed the building.
The Christian whose prayers are ended by dissatisfaction with Godís methods and timing does not exhibit that characteristic of a true believer.
Real faith looks at the Lord and not primarily at that which He might do.
Faith that is in the Lord instead of what the Lord does or is expected to do is a sustaining faith and will last the test of time.
True faith presents a petition before the throne of grace, and rejoices if God sees fit to grant the request.
The same faith also rejoices when He declines to grant the request knowing that the Lordís ways are higher Ė and better Ė than our ways.
If we learn this one lesson then our study in Luke yields great results.
Luke 1:24-25, And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
Zacharias went home, and in the course of time his wife Elisabeth was with child.
After becoming pregnant, Elisabeth remained in seclusion for a five month period.
It is reasonable to think that this five month period began when Elisabeth started showing her pregnancy (at four months?)and perhaps her hiding continued until the birth of John.
Notice what is said about Elisabeth in verse 36.
Her who was called barren. Who had called her barren? The ladies of the villages in the hill country of Judea?
It would appear from this verse that this devout lady had often heard the taunts of her neighbors concerning her barrenness.
She is barren - for God is judging her!
We are quick to help God in his judgments arenít we.
We easily attribute a reason for things happening in anotherís life when we are totally without facts to support out judgment.
But God certainly has no lack of judges in the human race.
Perhaps this background influenced Elisabeth and gave reason for her isolation from her neighbors.
As far as she was concerned she had been delivered and it was a matter between her and God and was not to be flaunted among her arrogant neighbors.
Perhaps it was the simple reason that she was well stricken in years and for an old lady to be with child would also may have been cause for taunts.
Perhaps it was for the reason that she was old and had to take extra precautions to protect the baby that was growing inside of her.
Another reason for her isolation perhaps had to do with the muteness of her husband.
She would have had to take part in being his spokesperson had she been more public and she may have chosen not to do that considering her pregnancy.