Monday, December 4, 2023
Four Hundred Years of Waiting
While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. (Luke 1:11 NLT)
C. S. Lewis said, “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”
We live by time. God is outside of time. This doesn’t mean that God isn’t aware of time, because He is completely aware of every minute and second of our lives and everything that happens in them.
But He lives in the eternal realm. God’s interpretation of time is quite different from ours. He has His timing. And there are times in life when it appears as though God is late, that He is somehow disengaged and not paying attention.
Sometimes as we look at the way things are, we wonder whether God is aware of what the world is like. Why has Christ not come back? The implication is that God is somehow off schedule.
However, the Bible says of Christ’s return, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (2 Peter 3:9 NLT).
Jesus Christ will come back to this earth at the appointed time that God has determined.
When Jesus came to Earth the first time, the people of Israel were tired of waiting. They felt it was time for the Messiah to arrive. These were difficult and dark days in Israel’s history. They were under the control of Rome and the tyrannical rule of the puppet king known as Herod. The fact is that 6 BC was a lousy time to live in Judea.
The people hadn’t heard from God for 400 years. Not a single prophet had said, “Thus saith the Lord. . . .” There hadn’t been any miracles or angelic appearances. Instead, there was a stony silence from Heaven.
The people were probing, searching, and wondering when things would change.
But there was a sense that something was in the air, that something was about to break. And indeed, it was. The moment was coming for the Messiah to arrive.
It all began with the aged priest Zechariah, who was in the temple bringing sacrifices on behalf of the people. The angel Gabriel appeared with the announcement that he would be the father of John the Baptist the forerunner of Jesus.
It was a day like any other day when the supernatural invaded the natural. It was the day that God chose to reveal to Zechariah that he was going to be the father of the forerunner of the Messiah. Zechariah was praying, and God heard him and answered his prayer.
The Bible says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT). No matter what you’re facing, no matter what kind of challenges you’re going through, you need to pray.
There may be things that we go through in life that don’t make sense. But one day we will know. Until then, we must trust God and surrender ourselves to Him.
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