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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

For Want of a Baby (Luke 1:7, 13)

"But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years . . . But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John."

What do Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Tamar, Manoah's wife, Hannah, and Elizabeth have in common? They all wanted a baby, but God had so much more than a baby in mind.

Sarah wanted a son while God desired a people (Isaac's seed contained a people whose number exceeds the number of stars in the sky)
Rebekah wanted a son while God intended two nations (Jacob and Esau)
Rachel wanted a son while God planned for a deliverer (Joseph)
Tamar wanted a son while God intended a future king for Israel (King David)
Manoah's wife wanted a son while God purposed a judge (Samson)
Hannah wanted a son while God wanted a prophet (Samuel)
Elizabeth wanted a son while God appointed a forerunner (John the Baptist) for His own son (the Lord Jesus Christ)


Perhaps has these women not struggled with barrenness they would not have understood the significance of their child when they did finally conceive. In fact, none of them realized during their lifetime the full impact their son would have in their generation or in the generations that would follow. Each woman received not only the son of her dreams but the son of God's providence and promise. Each child silenced, in some way or other, the enemy.

Sometimes God withholds, for a time (or in Elizabeth's a VERY long time), what you desire because He has so much more in mind than what you could ever imagine. Women's desire for sons mirrors God's desires for judges, prophets, kings, and spiritual statesmen. What a great God is our Jehovah!

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Luke 1
  • What reason does Luke give for writing his Gospel account?
  • Why was Zechariah serving as priest on that particular day? What does this tell you about faithfulness?
  • Which prayers does the angel of the Lord refer to? What does this tell you about prayer?
  • What instructions does the angel give to Zechariah regarding the child?
  • What does Zechariah ask the angel? What does the angels answer tell you about Zechariah's question?
  • Describe the difference between Zechariah and Mary's response to the news from heaven.
  • What answer does Gabriel give Mary that satisfies her question?
  • How does she respond to the angel's announcement? Verses 46-55 are quotes from 25 different OT passages --What does this tell you about Mary?
  • Read Romans 10:17. What produces or builds faith?
  • Read Hebrews 11:6. What does God look for in any man or woman?
  • Describe Mary's view of God.
  • What do Zechariah and those around him understand is taking place?
(Zechariah had no idea that when his name was drawn to serve in the temple that day nine months before that his life would never be the same. What would that require of Zechariah as a dad?)


Turning truth into prayer
Choose to thank the Lord when He denies you the desire of your heart. Know that you can trust Him with your life.