Day Three – The skeptical heart

Today’s Scripture: Luke 1:13-18; Proverbs 18:21

When the angel appeared to Zechariah, he assured him that his prayer for a child would finally be answered. Then the angel gave a beautiful description of the life Zechariah’s son would live. Who wouldn’t want a prophetic word about your future child? What a gift the angel gave him.

Instead of rejoicing over the promise, the old priest blurted out with skepticism, “How can I be sure of this?” I can just imagine Gabriel rising to his full angelic height as he responded, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God.” Almost as if he was saying, “Do you even know who I am? If you did, you wouldn’t have responded with doubt.”

Then Gabriel pronounced a judgment of silence on Zechariah because of his lack of belief about the promise. I’ll bet the man wished he had bitten his tongue before he spoke. The priest wasn’t allowed to utter a word until after the child was born. The Lord may have silenced him so he wouldn’t destroy the faith and hope in other people, especially his elderly wife Elizabeth.

One thing about our words—we can never retrieve them once they’re spoken. We can show regret, apologize, and even try to make up for what we said. But the sound of our words echoes in someone’s ears. The tongue has the power of life and death.

  • Why do you think the angel silenced Zechariah? If you were Zechariah, how would you have responded to the angel’s message?
  • Listen to yourself today. Do your words have more of a positive or negative effect on others? What needs to change?