A Message of Hope - Hope in the Lord
Text: Luke 1:5-23, 57-80
The Birth of John the Baptist
The Conception of John the Baptist
Blameless and barren (5-7)
Zacharias “chosen by lot” (8-10)
An angelic encounter (11-12)
An awesome prophecy (13-17)
Insecurity, doubt and weak faith (18)
The price of doubt (19-20)
Elizabeth conceives (24-25)
The Birth of John the Baptist
A celebration (57-58)
A circumcision (59)
A naming (60-63)
A voice restored (64-65)
The Prophecy of Zacharias
Regarding the activity of God (67-75)
God has accomplished our redemption and salvation (67-69)
God has fulfilled His promises to Abraham (70-73)
We are rescued to serve Him in holiness all our days (74-75)
Regarding the activity of John (verses 76-77)
You will be the prophet of the Most High and
go before Him to prepare His ways (76)
You will give people the knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins, (77)
Regarding the activity of The Son (78-79)
He will visit us (78)
He will shine upon those who sit in darkness
and the shadow of death (79a)
He will guide us into the way of peace (79b)
Our Hope is in the Lord
Face your challenges with faith and prayer. (v.13)
When God speaks respond with faith and
Recognize God’s activity and let your praise be heard (v.64)
1. Zacharias and Elizabeth has a lifetime of disappointment and unfulfilled prayers. In those days a woman who did not have children was considered disgraceful. (The implication in Israel was that the woman was not worthy to have children) Every negative circumstance is NOT a punishment! Our suffering is the result of a fallen world not necessarily and individual sin. God will not punish His children, though He may discipline us for our good, out of a heart of love.
2. Note that God had not spoken in Israel that we know of in 400 years (since the time of Malachi). The angel’s appearance to Zacharias was unique among the people of his days. No one was alive who had experienced something like this in hundreds of years.
God can speak, will speak, and does speak to us today through His Holy Spirit and His Word.
When you sense God speaking, do not ask, “How can I be certain?” tinged with doubt. Instead, prayerfully and sincerely seek confirmation if there is anything unclear regarding what you believe God is saying. Examine scripture, seek godly counsel, and consider how what He is saying fits with the circumstances of your life and spiritual journey.
There is always hope in life when we experience God in a personal love relationship with us.
3. Zacharias was struck dumb for doubting the message of the angel. He had nine months to ponder on this. Can you imagine his frustration at his inability to speak. He didn’t have texting, or email, or even a marker board. His lack of ability to communicate impacted his life and family in ways we cannot imagine.
Silence has for ages been considered a spiritual
discipline though it is rarely practiced in modern days.
When given the capacity to speak, let your speech be seasoned with grace. A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with the activity of the sovereign God who loves you, and sent His som to die for your sin.
When Zacharias scratched out his message on a tablet “His name is John.” He acted in obedience to the angelic messenger, and his voice was returned to him, and he could finally speak again, he spoke in praise of God.
When we seek to be a people who praise God for
what he has done, is doing, and has promised to do, we will find a deep reservoir of true hope and peace even in the most challenging circumstances.
Don’t keep silent, let you praise be heard. And you will find in your praise, a spring of living water to refresh your soul with hope.