And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
Zechariah prophecies with his first words in nearly a year that the Lord has involved himself in their time through this child. He prophecies the future the child will have in his role as a prophet as well the topic he will teach on. He will focus on Israel’s salvation as well as a call to remember the Covenant with Abraham that the people of Israel will finally fulfill their purpose in the place God has called them because of their privileged relationship.
He focuses even more on his child and calls back to the Isaiah 40 passage with the line of preparing the Lord’s way. Not only that, but he expounds on it to explain how that will happen. He explains that it will be by providing knowledge of salvation. He will point the way to God.
John grows up with this prophecy looming over him, but that only helps to shape him into the man he will become. He grows up and becomes strong in the spirit. He heads off into the wilderness, likely after his parents pass away, until he steps into his role as the Baptizer. Zechariah and Elizabeth prepare for a day they will never see. They train him up, but they don’t get to see the results or the fulfillment of the prophecy.
Thank you for not forgetting your promise. You are setting up to fulfill the words you spoke so long ago. We cannot await the coming of the eternal king. We are excited to see how this plays out.
In Jesus’ Name
Carol of the Day:
Birthday of a King
Today, let’s make some soup, but instead of mixing in all of the ingredients, separate them out so you can mix and match them. Use this style of meal sharing to be a conversation starter.