“And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.” Luke 1:6-7
There are not many people that the Scriptures name as righteous, but Zacharias and Elizabeth are two of them. They were obedient followers of the Lord, blameless. They were doing all the right things. And yet, they still lacked what was considered the most precious blessing attainable – an heir.
Jewish society of their day looked at barrenness as a sign of God’s displeasure. How painful it must have been for them, year after year, to watch neighbors, friends and family members have children while they remained childless. I wonder if Elizabeth felt ashamed. I wonder if they ever felt that God didn’t see their pain, or didn’t care.
Regardless, they continued to serve Him, doing all the right things even though life had seemed to treat them very unfairly. And all this time they had no idea the privilege God was waiting to confer upon them. Had they known they would be the parents of the forerunner of the Christ, I am certain they would have been able to wait contentedly for the appointed time, serving God faithfully. But they didn’t know….and they still served Him faithfully.
In a day when most people feel entitled to certain things if we are serving God, it would do us good to reflect upon the example of Zacharias and Elizabeth. Even when the life they expected was not granted, and even when they did all the right things and nothing changed, they continued to serve Him.
Will we remain faithful when our expectations are not met, when our desires are not granted, when our longings go unfulfilled? We must determine in our hearts that we will, for this is the way of the true servants of the Lord.