AN OLD MAN’S PREDICAMENT Luke 1:5-25
And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. (v18)
The story of Zechariah illustrates more clearly than almost any other biblical account, the pain that can arise in the heart because of unanswered prayer. Zechariah was serving God as a priest in the Temple in Jerusalem, yet he had a pain deep in his heart. His wife, Elizabeth, had been unable to conceive a child something Zechariah had prayed about for many years (v13). However, when the angel appeared to tell him that his prayer was to be answered he was unable to receive the astonishing news because as he put it, “I am an old man and my wife is well on in years. Zechariah had just experienced two amazing spiritual encounters: First, he had been chosen to enter into the Temple and burn incense to the Lord (v9) and second, he had being visited by an angel. Yet despite this he appeared to be quite unable to take in the promise of the angel that his wife would conceive and bear a son. Why? Was it because the pain of unanswered prayer was still so acute that it prevented him from reaching out in faith in case he might be disappointed again?
I have seen many Christians I have counseled holding back at the very point when they want to move forward. Even though God witnesses clearly to their hearts by His Spirit, they are unable to forge ahead in case matters might not turn out as they expect.
PRAYER LINE: Father, hold me steady as I examine my heart. Help me face up to any disappointment over unanswered prayer that may be lingering in my soul. In Christ’s Name I ask it. Amen. (EDWJ)
Temptations will knock at your door; don’t ask them to stay for dinner.