(18) And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. (19) And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. (20) And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.Luke 1:18-20
When we read this passage it may be easy for us to be hard on him. There is reason for some to be that way toward him. Think about the fact that he is talking to an angel who is telling him the future about his Son because God sent Him with the message. It’s already pretty extraordinary. If God can do all of this in a supernatural way, then human, natural limitations should be no problem.
Yet, Zacharias shares doubt with the angel. In verse 18 he questions if what the angel is saying is possible because of his age. It is unusual for the elderly to have children. But God had done it before. This same kind of scenario had happend with Abram and Sarah.
Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?Genesis 17:17
Notice the angel’s response: “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings”. He points out two realities to Zacharias that should have assured him of the veracity of the angels message.
First, he points out his identity. The message could be trusted as true because of who is giving the message.
Second, he points out the Source of the message. The message was true because God is the one who sent the message to Zachariah.
The angel of God gives a sign to Zacharias to affirm the veracity of the message. He makes him unable to talk until the baby is born. His inability to speak would be a constant confirmation of what God was going to do in regard to this child.
It must be pointed out that we before we are too harsh on Zacharias, we must admit our own doubt to God. We have the Word of God in our hands. Many believers where I minister have several copies of God’s Word available to them. We have the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as a historical perspective. God has proven himself to be God throughout history, and yet there are times that we doubt. How do we doubt God?
We doubt Him through prayerlessness. There are times we don’t ask God to do things in our lives because we assume he will not or cannot do them.
We doubt Him through sinfulness. We show our doubt to God at times by doing things we know He is against. We doubt that His ways are best for us and move in disobedience away from Him.
God can be trusted. He has given us reason to trust Him throughout history and in His Word. Remember, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
Are you doubitng God today? Are you doubting him through prayerlessness? Are you doubting him in sinfulness? Repent and believe!