But 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, and many will rejoice at his birth. (
They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn. That was the condition of the nation of Israel 2,000 years ago. Four centuries passed and they were still in spiritual darkness, without a word from God, since the last prophet, Malachi, had spoken. Yet, he promised, “The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings” (4:2a). That new day was about to dawn. As the sun returns to the sky after the darkness of night, so hope would return with a fresh word.
It came TO A SEPARATED PERSON (
Luke 1:5-9) Zacharias was a priest, set apart for service
in the temple. He and his wife Elizabeth
were faithful people who let their light shine during those dark days. They clung to hope when it seemed hope was
lost. This godly couple was not perfect,
but they were pure. God occupied the
throne of their lives and directed their steps.
Their walk in public was without scandal and their walk in private was
without shame. All was done under the
supervision of God who put His stamp of approval on their conduct. You don’t have to be a gifted person for God
to use, but you have to be a godly person.
The dawn of hope came AT A STRATEGIC POINT (
Nothing is by accident for the child of God—it is by appointment! Paul said that it was in the fullness of time
that God sent His Son into the world—in the most strategic moment, God would
cause the Light to dawn. We see His
providential hand selecting Zacharias—by lot.
It wasn’t human chance, but heavenly choice. God is directing the events of your life—even
the painful ones. God uses pressure to
mold us and fire to make us fit vessels.
When the priest went in to offer incense a bell was sounded calling the
people to pray. Incense is symbolic of
intercession—a sweet fragrance arising to God.
When God gets ready to move, he moves us to pray.
The word came THROUGH A SUPERNATURAL PRESENCE (
Luke 1:11-12) If
God opened our spiritual eyes, we would see there are angels all around
us. We are never alone—God is near! We are so casual and careless about holy
things and sacred places. Irreverence
comes from failing to see God as He is!
If an angel could so terrify a good man, what reverence should be shown
The dawn of hope came BY A SACRED PROCLAMATION (
Luke 1:13-25) John
the Baptist would be the herald of the King!
Here is a description of spiritual awakening—in the nation, the church
and the home. We need that now! God spoke and Zacharias couldn’t. Unbelief can rob us of blessing, but it won’t
stop God’s purposes.
Will you respond to Him? Will you hear and heed His voice? Today could be the dawn of a new day for you—hope could arise, even in this dark hour.