“Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people.’” ~Luke 1:67-68
Over the years the church has given Zechariah’s song the title, “The Benedictus,” or “The Blessing.” The lyrics of this brief song, which we read in Luke1:67-79, were sung by one of the proudest and oldest first time fathers of all time. But more than being just a happy little diddy from a happy old daddy, Zechariah verbalizes two timeless and timely truths about God’s character that you and I probably need to hear again today.
First, we are reminded that God never breaks a promise! John’s birth was living proof of God’s faithfulness. In His song, Zechariah belts out to all who will listen, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people.” (Luke 1:68)
God keeps his promises—every one of them. He can’t help himself; it is just his nature. He had promised through the prophets a redeemer for Israel hundreds of year before, and 400 silent years had passed since the last prophet Malachi had uttered the oracles of God until the time the angel Gabriel revealed God’s plan to Zechariah. Though God’s promise had been ever so slow in coming, it was nonetheless fulfilled.
Zechariah’s song reminds us that even though God may be slow, he is never late!
Second, God never forgets. “Zechariah’s” name meant “God remembers.” And in his song Zechariah exploded with the joyful realization that God does remember: “God has remembered his oath…” (Luke 1:72-73)
Zechariah must have been discouraged. He was a priest of a nation that had turned its back on God. He and Elizabeth, whose name meant “the promise of God,” had been faithful to God all their lives—they lived up to the meaning of their names. Yet God had not blessed them with a son, and wayward Israel continued to be oppressed by its pagan enemies.
But Zechariah clung to this truth: Our Creator remembers! God knows who we are, where we are and what we need. He remembers us. He remembers his promises, and God graciously acts at the proper time.
Isaiah 49:15-16 reminds us, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”
God can’t forget!
If you are reading these words today and feeling a little forgotten by God, thank God you’re wrong! Zechariah reminds you from first hand experience through his song that God remembers you and will fulfill every single one of his promises to you at the proper time!
So be faithful!
“God often gives in one brief moment that which He has for a long time denied.” ~Thomas A` Kempis