Trust is a gift from you, God. Zechariah and Mary both received unbelievable messages from the angel Gabriel about giving birth by a miraculous act of God. Both received the fulfilled blessing that had been promised to them. But only Mary trusted the promise. Zechariah doubted the promise and suffered the personal consequences for it.
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
Your word says that Zechariah and his wife were both righteous before you and “walked blamelessly in all the commandments”. Yet, because of his doubting, he was silenced. This silencing kept him from sharing in the blessing that he had been given, but it didn’t stop the blessing.
So often I’m ready to doubt your promises, God. I get so used to calling them promises that I forget that they really are promises and you are faithful to fulfill them! Help me to trust you, God. Help me not to doubt the blessings that you are sending to me. I think Zechariah doubted because Elizabeth was barren. Instead of remembering that you fulfilled your promise to bring a child to a barren woman with Abraham and Sarah, he was stuck in the current circumstance of Elizabeth’s inability to conceive.
By no means should he have been putting his faith in Elizabeth’s body! But instead he should have trusted in your power! He was a man who knew you! And yet his fear and the sorrow of his current circumstances kept him from trusting You. He was well versed in the knowledge of your faithfulness and yet the familiarity of his personal troubles kept him from fully trusting in the message that he had been given.
And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
How favored indeed was Mary! Her childlike faith and trust in Your message were evident in her from the start. Her circumstances were simple and humble. She was favored by God, because she didn’t put her trust in her humble circumstances. Sure, she questioned Gabriel when he said she was favored, but when he told her what that favor was going to give her, she recognized her place as Your servant. If you wanted to call her “favored” that was good enough for her. So she trusted you.
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
Lord, I am highly favored by you. I know this because of what you have done for me. You gave me your Son as a ransom for my life. And you gave me your Spirit as a deposit of your promises to be fulfilled in me. Lord, let me trust you. Let me walk in the favor you have pronounced on me. Let me know Your promises are true and walk in that truth instead of the turmoil of my corrupted circumstances.
Oh, Jesus! My love! Help me trust You so that I can share with the world the blessings You provide instead of being silenced by the doubt in my own heart.