Sometimes things in the Bible make me laugh. This is one of them.
And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” Luke 1:18
Zacharias has just been given the best imaginable news by an angel. His response is to ask for a sign. Zacharias! That was an angel talking to you. Seems like that might be a good enough sign.
So unbelieving Zacharias was made mute (and apparently deaf) when he doubted the message of the angel regarding the birth of a son.
Imagine being his age, after so many childless years, to finally be counting down the days until the birth of your son. How many times during those months did he look at Elizabeth’s swollen belly and long to lift his voice in praise? Or to laugh with her when the baby kicked? Or to speak of the words the angel had told him? Each time was a reminder of his doubt. Is it any surprise then, that by the time John was born Zacharias was fully convinced of what the angel had told him and his first words after having his speech restored was this eruption of praise:
“Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited and redeemed His people,
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of His servant David,
As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who have been since the world began,
That we should be saved from our enemies
And from the hand of all who hate us,
To perform the mercy promised to our fathers
And to remember His holy covenant,
The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
To grant us that we,
Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;
For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
To give knowledge of salvation to His people
By the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Let us not be muted out through unbelief, but continually lift our voices in praise to the God who is faithful to perform that which He has promised.