Zechariah

Conversing with Angels

Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.  Psalm 119:140

When the angel Gabriel told Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth was going to have a child, Zechariah replied, “How can I be sure of this?” (Luke 1:18)

I chuckled when I read that. An angel was talking to Zechariah. Gabriel had materialized in the temple next to the altar of incense just like a character in Star Trek. Zechariah was “gripped with fear” when Gabriel appeared, but then he was cheeky enough to ask, “Are you sure?”

Gabriel’s answer indicated that he was a little surprised by Zechariah’s doubt. “I’m Gabriel,” he said. “I stand in the presence of God” (v. 19). In other words Gabriel was saying, “Are you nuts? I’m an archangel of the Most High God!  Who do you think sent me here to tell you this? Of course I’m sure.”

I’d like to think that if an angel appeared before me with a message from God, I would believe without hesitation. But Zechariah’s experience suggests that I probably wouldn’t, especially if the message was as stunning as Gabriel’s was.

God disciplined Zechariah for his unbelief by taking away his ability to speak until the promised child is born (v. 20). God may also discipline me when I don’t respond to His promises in faith. God assured us that every word in the Scriptures is true (2 Timothy 3:16). He also told us that every word that comes from His mouth will “accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).

I may never have the privilege of conversing with an angel here on earth, but I can receive a message from God at any time and in any place. I just have to open my Bible with a hearing heart and wait for Him to speak.

DIG DEEPER:

Read Luke 1:67-79. When Zechariah’s speech was restored, what did he say? Why was his heart so full of praise?

Gabriel appeared to at least two other people in the Bible. How did they react? Read Daniel 8:15-19 and Luke 1:26-33.

Read John 12:44-50. What did Jesus say about people who do not believe His words?

Denise K. Loock

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