Zachariah’s Unbelief and His Dumbness!!! 
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.”And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless. So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying,  “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”…… Luke 1:18-25 
In our previous Study, we saw the background story of Zachariah and His wife who were righteous and blameless before the Lord but Yet had no child and how an Angel appeared to Zachariah while He was burning incense in the temple to announce the Birth of John the Baptist. Here we read of the unbelief response of Zachariah and the punishment given to Him for His unbelief. 

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.”And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.: We may ask, “Why should such a severe Punishment of dumbness befall Zachariah for asking Just a Simple question Like, ‘ How shall I know this?'” And it is interesting to notice that when the same Angel went to Mary and told Her that She was going to have a Child, Mary said similar words to Angel Gabriel saying, ” How can this be, since I do not know a man?(Luke 1:34)”. And yet Mary must not struck with Dumbness but Zachariah was!!!  Why the Difference? Was there partiality with God? Not at all!!! There are things we can learn from these.

First of all, Zachariah was an Old Man who have known God for Years and as a Priest, He must have studied the Scriptures for Years. So More was expected of Him than from a Young girl like Mary who knew so little of the Scriptures. To whom More is given, More is required. The second thing is that Zachariah already has a precedent in Scripture in the Life of Abraham and Sarah where God has miraculously done this kind of thing before. Zachariah had an example in Scripture that He could follow. But for Mary, there was no Example in Scripture that a Virgin became Pregnant. 

So we see that when God has already done something before once in someone’s life, we have no excuse for not having faith that the same thing can happen in our lives too. What God did for John the Baptist, Elijah, Peter, Paul, name them all, He can do for Us. And the Wonderful thing is that Even What God did for Jesus His Son, He can do for Us. Because Jesus has become a Forerunner for Us. He came to Earth with a Flesh Like us and Overcame. And He says “We are to overcome as He Overcame(Revelation 3:21)”. Jesus was tempted in ALL Points Exactly as we are Yet He never Sinned(Hebrews 4:15), There is no excuse now for us to say, “We have to Sin” when we are tempted. We need not Sin one single time!!! Before the time of Jesus, there was no such example, but now in the New Covenant, we have an Example. When there is an Example already before Us, there is no excuse for us. So we see that Zachariah was struck dumb because He had received More and More was expected from Him. 

But behold the kindness and Severity of God!!! Though Zachariah was struck with dumbness, Yet the Angel said, ” The words He has spoken will be fulfilled in His own time”. Our unbelief will not make the Word of God of no effect. God’s word will be fulfilled in its own time even when we fail to believe it. God disciplines us for our unbelief but His mercy and kindness, He does not withdraw from us. As a Father disciplines His own Children, so the Lord Disciples those whom He Loves. 
 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.: There are some things we can learn from the people that waited for Zachariah outside the temple. Firstly, they were praying outside the temple while Zachariah was offering incense. We must always pray for those who are ministers of God’s word. God’s Ministers are always the target of the Devil. The Devil knows that once He is able to get the Leader, then He will be able to get the Church. If the Shepherd is struck down, then the sheep of the flock will be scattered. Let us therefore make it a regular habit to pray for God’s ministers. Here we see that they waited although Zachariah tarried long in the temple. They were not quick to rush home because the ministration was longer than usual. They waited for Him to finish. We must also learn to wait until the end of the service. We are never to be offended that the church meeting is getting longer than usual. 
So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house.: Although He was struck dumb by an Angel while He ministered before the Lord Yet He did not depart to His House until the days of His service were completed. When the Lord disciplines us for our unbelief, we must never be offended and neglect our service for the Lord. When the Lord rebukes us, we must continue with Him. We must say like Job says, “Thou He slay Me, Yet will I trust in Him(Job 13:15). We must come to the point where we understand that the mark that the Lord Loves Us is that He rebukes us when we go astray. For whom the Lord Loves, rebukes(Revelation 3:19). Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.(Hebrews 11:11). When God disciplines us, it is to train us. Zachariah needs some training. When the Angel told Him that His prayers had been answered, He should have fallen to the ground and praise God for the wonderful answer He had received. But out of unbelief He questioned God’s power. However after He became dumb for a while, He learnt to praise God when His mouth became finally opened(Luke 1:62). We must never waste All the disciplines the Lord sent across our path. We must allow them to yield fruits in our lives and train us in the way of righteousness. 
Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying,  “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”: God is very exact in the fulfillment of His words. We may pray for Many years and not get an answer but if we hold on in Faith, when God’s time comes, He will still accomplish His purpose and answer that prayer. Once God has said something, we can be absolutely certain that there is no more doubt to what He has said in His Word. Notice also what Elizabeth said, “God has taken away My reproach”. In the old Covenant, it was considered a reproach not to have a Child. But now in the New Covenant, it is not a reproach. There are many Saints who have accomplish more for God and Yet they died not having a Child. They glorified God even in their childlessness. Children are wonderful gifts from God but now we must not call it a Reproach if the Lord has decided not to give us one for reasons best known to Him. We must say, “You are still My God, even if you give Me nothing” 
Dear Friend, what the Lord has done for people in the Scriptures, He will do for us. What the Lord has done for Jesus, He will do You You. Believe in His promises and don’t come short of what He has for you through Unbelief. May the Lord give us Grace to believe His Words in Jesus name. (Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day. 
#Everyday with Jesus. 

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