Zechariah and our Father: Not a Cookie-Cutter God

Dusting off this old post for the season. It’s a reminder I needed today. Perhaps you, too.

Desire Mercy

For many years I had a problem with God’s dealing with Zechariah.  Every year during Advent I would read this story of a faithful, righteous priest named Zechariah (Luke 1) who would become the father of John the Baptist.  Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, is “advanced in years” (a genteel way of saying she is old) and barren, a fact which quite naturally leads Zechariah to ask a question when the angel of the Lord tells him Elizabeth will bear a son:

How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years (Luke 1:18).


What has troubled me for so long about this story is not the question – it’s a question any of us might ask – but the angel’s response.  Acting on behalf of the Lord, the angel strikes Zechariah with muteness.  The reason given is because Zechariah did not believe.


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