Devotional Passage: Luke 1:5-7
Waiting is something most people struggle with (even though these days, waiting in line or for someone to show up at a restaurant means you get extra time to check social media or play a video game on your phone). We’re impatient by nature. But the funny thing is that God often sees waiting in a different light than we do. God will sometimes make us wait so that we learn to appreciate what He has already planned to reveal to us.
Read Luke 1:5-7. What do we learn about Zechariah and Elizabeth here? We learn Zechariah is a priest. We learn Elizabeth is the daughter of priestly heritage (that’s what the whole “daughters of Aar-on” means). We learn that they are righteous. But we also learn something about them in verse 7: they have been waiting for a child that has not come.
The theme of “waiting” runs through the Christmas narrative, but it’s easy for us to miss it if we don’t know the backstory. If we go back to the time of David, something like 1,000 years before Jesus was born, God was continually speaking through His prophets. If you were an Israelite during those days, God’s presence seemed like a constant thing. But as the Israelites were repeatedly unfaithful to God, He chose to speak predictions of judgment through His prophets, warning the people what would happen if they didn’t turn back to God. With each message of judgment, there was also the promise of future hope when the Messiah would come. But the people never listened to the message. Judgment came as God promised it would. The people were scattered and defeated.
Then, as far as we know, God went silent. For close to 400 years, we have no recorded revelation from God. God was not absent, but He was quiet. God was letting His people wait. They had been waiting in anticipation for the Messiah to come. They had been waiting for God to speak. They had been waiting for hundreds of years. But suddenly, this changed. The Christmas story is essentially about God break-ing His silence and speaking into the void. The wait was over. God was moving, and nothing would ever be the same.
Think about this:
• Why is waiting on God difficult at times?
• What can you do to keep your faith strong as you wait?