The angel of the Lord was making a lot of promises. These promises were coming from God, and held the potential of making Zechariah and Elizabeth’s biggest dream come true. This couple was childless in a time when this condition was at the very least grounds for divorce and could be reason for excommunication.
Zechariah and Elizabeth were now being promised a baby boy. As if that wasn’t enough excitement for this older couple, the angel promised that God would fill this child with the Holy Spirit and he would be the one to prepare the way of the Lord.
Many times we pray for and expect certain things from God. We decide this is what we need and that it is the right time for it to happen. We also become very impatient and unhappy with God for not coming through with this thing that is so perfect and right for us.
The wonderful thing about the promises of God is that they are so much better and greater than the plans we make for ourselves. God’s promises continue to grow and give us more joy and gladness than we could ever imagine for ourselves.
—Ms. Jodi Rush
- Like the situation of Zechariah and Elizabeth and the situation of couples of modern days, what might be some of the feelings and questions they struggle with, in their frustration of being childless?
- What qualities would John have to possess in order to “prepare the way of the Lord”?
- Think of a time when the promises of God have shown you more joy than what you had planned for yourself?
How Do I Act?
- For the next six months keep a daily journal of your prayers for other people. At the end of the time, look back over the list to see what God has done in the lives of these people. Continue to give them the gift of your prayers.
- Using a search engine, do a word study of the promises of God by reading several different scriptures. Compare and contrast the promises in different versions of the Bible.
- Plan a time this week that you and/or a group of people can get together to make cards or gifts for Christmas. Be creative, and think of gifts that tell something of the promises of God.
- Programs and agencies get a lot of support during the holiday season. Contact Big Brothers/Big Sisters or another such agency for information. Plan to begin to support them in January after the holidays are over.