Nine months deaf
Nine months mute
Nine months of wonder
as his withered wife blossoms.
Nine months to ponder
Nine months to repent
And then, God unleashes Zechariah’s tongue.
When Zechariah’s “tongue was loosed”
a holy FEAR (the Greek word “phobos”) fell
upon the neighbors,
and then, throughout Judea.
Because Zechariah’s Prophetic Song showed the promised time had come.
Don’t you think they each thought:
Am I ready?
Just as we know the 2nd Advent is promised,
can you imagine how you would feel if God showed you Christ’s return
was going to happen today?
Would you not think?
Am I ready?
Let us delve together into the rich song of Zechariah,
and in so doing, truly prepare our hearts for this Christmas.
Last Thursday R. C. Sproul died, a man that God used mightily to remind God’s people of the holiness of God, much like John the Baptist. I was remembering my first Christian bookseller’s convention as a young author. Steve and I took our children and we both felt it had almost a carnival air with over a thousand booths, many selling bumper stickers, t-shirts, and trinkets. On Sunday one big name singer after another came out and the audience was in a state of adulation. It didn’t feel like a holy place.
Then R. C. Sproul came out to give the message about the goodness and the severity of God.
1.What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. How do you think you would have felt if you were in the room when Zechariah began to prophecy that the Christ was imminent? Why?
Monday: This was a Prophecy from God
Deliverance will come in two distinct phases, the first Advent and the second Advent, but to Zechariah’s mind it was all one package. We, who are on the other side of the first Advent, can better see the two mountain peaks in Zechariah’s prophecy.
3. As an overview, read Zechariah’s whole prayer of prophetic praise (Luke 1:68-79) and write down a few things that the Messiah will do that are meaningful to you. Which of these have happened already in part?
Tuesday: He Has Visited His People!
Please, please, prepare your heart with this:
4. Read Luke 1:67-71
A. What is the first thing Zechariah praises God for in verse 68?
B. The word “visited” is like “Immanuel” — God is with us. But using a concordance (or an online sight such a Bible Gateway), find another time or two when the same concept of God coming down and visiting us is expressed in the gospels. Does this give you any additional light? If so, explain. (Another occurs later in Zechariah’s song)
C. What does Zechariah say is going to happen according to verse 71? How has this been partially fulfilled by the first Advent, and how will it be completely fulfilled in the second Advent?
D. Praise God for a time recently that He has rescued you from the enemy who breathes lies, brings despair, and enslaves.
Wednesday: That We Might Serve Him Without Fear
5. Read Luke 1:72-75. What is the purpose of our being rescued from our enemies? How conscious are you of this calling? Explain.
I am pondering the above passage and look forward to our discussion. All of the disciples except for John were martyred. Likewise, Jesus said as we serve Him, a sword will divide us from those who do not love Him, even in our own families. So what does it mean that we can serve Him without fear?
6. What do you think it means that we can serve Him wholeheartedly, no matter how hostile our surroundings, and not have fear? (Look at these passages for insight and ask Him for wisdom before you answer: (Acts 4:25-30 and Romans 8:36-39)
7. How have you been bold for Christ and how could you trust Him more to be bolder?
8. How was John the Baptist bold?
Thursday: And you, my child, will be the prophet of the Most High
9. Read Luke 1:76-77 and list what God’s calling for this child was.
10. Read Luke 3:7-20 and describe how John lived out his calling. How could he serve God without fear?
Friday: The DaySpring or Sunrise from on High
11. Read Luke 1:78-79
A. What will Jesus do?
B. How has He done this for you in the past year or even this Advent?
12. What is your take-a-way and why?