Read the passage here. Don’t forget, you can leave any questions in the comments section.
Gabriel had spoken, the silence was broken, wonderful promises given to a human being and in my imagination it’s as if heaven holds its breath waiting for the response. The response from Zechariah must have been like watching a striker miss an open goal, a fielder in cricket missing a skyer or singer badly missing a high note. You can almost hear the heavenly host let out a collective sigh.
The problem with Zechariah’s question is that it is loaded with unbelief. ‘How can I be sure’ is effectively saying ‘I hear you but I’m not sure I believe you’. He doubted the promises given to him.
Many of us have said things we later regret. We hear the words replayed over and over again and wish we could erase them. God gave Zechariah time to reflect on his words, he was unable to speak but also probably deaf as well (1:62). His words, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” must have come back to him many times.
In spite of Zechariah’s unbelief, God still kept all of his promises, more evidence that the Lord is indeed gracious.
I heard a sermon on this some years ago entitled ‘What would it take for God to get your attention?’ God took drastic action to get Zechariah’s attention, he sent Gabriel and then silenced Zechariah.
We thank you Lord that you are gracious and that you are still faithful even when we fail.
Help us Lord to believe your word and put it into practice.