“Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.” (Luke 1:18–20, NIV84)
Have you ever had one of those times that you wished you could pull back the words that just came out of your mouth? I mean, you began to realize mid-sentence that you shouldn’t be saying what you’re saying? Have you ever been there? I sure have! And so has Zechariah. Before finishing the question, “How can I be sure of this?”, I think he had a stark realization. What was that? Exactly what Gabriel told him. “I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and tell you this good news.” Zechariah had to be telling himself the same thing. It’s not every day that you see an angel from heaven. It’s not every day that an angel shares amazing news about something that you have been praying for decades to come true. I can so relate to Zechariah. I have so many times received God’s Word of promise with the hesitating thought, “How can I be sure?”
There is some humor and hope to be found in the rest of Zechariah’s encounter with the angel. Being silenced for 9 months so he could not speak about his experience because of his doubt makes me smile and see that even God has a sense of humor. Where is the hope to be found? Zechariah’s doubt did not detract from God’s plan for his life. God was faithful to Zechariah even though he doubted. The angel assures him that he will regain his ability to speak once all that was promised came true. Paul says in II Tim. 2:13, “Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful because He can’t deny Himself.” God works out His will even through our brokenness and doubts.
Rejoice today because we have a faithful God.