Blog

Zechariah
12/17/2019 6:00:00 AM by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Life in first century Palestine was hard. The Jewish nation found itself squirming under the heavy heel of the Roman Empire. The laws of the land were foreign laws, imposed by foreign rulers and enforced by foreign troops. The Jews hated Rome’s cruel domination and longed to be free of oppression.

God’s ancient promises

Since ancient times, Israel’s prophets had spoken of a coming deliverer. Every generation of Jews looked expectantly for the promised Messiah. Through Malachi, the last prophet in the Old Testament, God had said, "I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great day of the Lord arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of parents to their children" (Malachi 4:5,6 NLT).

But four centuries had passed since then, and Messiah had not come. Nor had there been any further word from heaven. Had God forgotten His people and His promise?

A four century wait

One day as a great throng of worshippers prayerfully waited outside the Temple, an old priest named Zechariah entered the Holy Place to burn incense. Suddenly an angel was standing next to him at the altar of incense. The old man was frightened.

But the angel said, "Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! For God has heard your prayer, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son! And you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice with you at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah, the prophet of old. He will precede the coming of the Lord, preparing the people for his arrival. He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children."

Zechariah doubts

Zechariah couldn’t believe his ears, for the angel’s words echoed the well-known prophecy of Malachi. But he and Elizabeth were both well past the time of life for having a child. Doubt filled his mind. How could the angel’s message be true? “How can I be sure of this?” he asked.

The angel replied, "I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! And now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you won’t be able to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly come true at the proper time."

Zechariah must wait

Instantly Zechariah lost his ability to speak. After finishing out his Temple assignment in silence, he returned to his hometown. In spite of Elizabeth’s age, she did become pregnant, just as the angel had said. The old couple rejoiced.

When Elizabeth delivered a baby boy, family and friends joyously gathered to celebrate his surprising birth. Everyone assumed the child would be named after his father, but Zechariah wrote on a tablet for all to see, "His name is John." Immediately Zechariah’s power of speech returned, allowing a torrent of praise and thanksgiving to God for this miracle baby to burst forth.

Zechariah believes & prophesies

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he prophesied, "You, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace." (Luke 1, NLT)

Zechariah understood that his newborn son would grow up to be the forerunner of Messiah. This child of miraculous birth was destined to prepare the Jewish nation for the arrival of their long-awaited Deliverer. Now that Messiah’s forerunner had been born, could the birth of Messiah be far behind?

Today’s prayer

"Dear God, how faithful You are to do what You say You’ll do! Help me to believe Your promises, even when they sound impossible. Amen."

© Paula Kortcamp Combs 1998


Previous Posts

The Father's Blessing: a faith based Beatitudes story from the Story Powerline
10/13/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Dad's Green Packard: a faith based Beatitudes story from the Story Powerline
10/10/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Hill of Woman's Fidelity: a faith based Beatitudes story from the Story Powerline
10/1/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Retold by Becky Cerling Powers

In Praise of Naps: from the Parent Powerline
9/28/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Music Enriches the Family
9/10/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Pre-School at Home During Covid-19: tips from the Parent Powerline
8/21/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Parenting in the Mess: Tips from the Parent Powerline
8/16/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Grandpa Thure Cerling, Part 2: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
8/4/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Grandpa Thure Cerling, Part 1: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
8/4/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

The Way We Homeschooled, Part 1 Balance: from the Parent Powerline
8/4/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Temptation: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
7/23/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Glen A. Hinshaw

A Simple Way to Help Kids with School: from the Parent Powerline
7/21/2020 9:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Honest Abe Lincoln: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
7/14/2020 11:00:00 PM  by: Randy Limbird

The Most Conscientious Hunter I Ever Met: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
6/24/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Glen A. Hinshaw

Washing Feet: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
6/17/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers and Lee Merrill Byrd

No Parking: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
6/10/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Ruby Bridges, part 2: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
6/3/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Ruby Bridges, part 1: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
6/2/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Raising Fluent Readers: tips from the Parent Powerline
5/29/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Unwanted Baby: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
5/26/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Eileen as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Family Funnies: Tips from the Parent Powerline
5/22/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Joey's Letters: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
5/21/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Lee Merrill Byrd

Alzheimer Valley: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
5/13/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

New Bride Confusion: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
5/12/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Amaris Luz, Light from Darkness: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
4/28/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Lee Merrill Byrd

Losing Poetry: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
4/22/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Let Kids Cure Their Own Boredom: Tips from the Parent Powerline
4/15/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Naaman, Rich in Money and Presumption: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
4/14/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs and Becky Cerling Powers

David, Bathsheba & Psalm 51: a faith based story story from the Story Powerline
4/9/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

The Hundred Chart: math lesson tips from the Parent Powerline
4/8/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

The Beer Would Call Me: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
4/7/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Beatriz Balcort as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Turned Around: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
4/2/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Brian Bolton with Becky Cerling Powers

Toddlers Helping During COVID-19 and Beyond: tips from the Parent Powerline
4/1/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Elijah & the Captain of 50 Men: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
3/31/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Retold by Becky Cerling Powers

Fear in Residence: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
3/24/2020 10:00:00 PM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Household Management During COVID-19 Time: tips from the Parent Powerline
3/23/2020 10:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Dreaming of Anita Jo: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
3/12/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

No Complaint Dinners: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
3/10/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Laura Jane Cerling

DIY Plumbing: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
3/5/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Jennifer Cummings

A Brother's Love: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
3/3/2020 7:00:00 AM  by: Retold by Becky Cerling Powers

My Two Dads, part three: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
2/27/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers

My Two Dads, part two: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
2/26/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers

My Two Dads, part one: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
2/25/2020 7:00:00 AM  by: Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Grandma's Apron: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
2/20/2020 12:45:00 PM  by: Jennifer Cummings

Colors of the Beetle: a retold faith based story from the Story Powerline
2/13/2020 12:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Cantaloupe Crop Disaster: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
2/5/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Glen Hinshaw

The Grumble Family: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
1/28/2020 7:00:00 AM  by: Anonymous

Afraid to Sleep at Night (Psalm 91): a faith based story from the Story Powerline
1/22/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

How the Camel Got His Hump: a retold faith based story
1/13/2020 10:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Growing Up With Polio: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
1/9/2020 10:01:00 PM  by: Laura Jane Cerling

All Things Bright and Beautiful: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
1/7/2020 6:20:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers, poem by Cecil Frances Alexander

One Dollar for a Donut: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
1/1/2020 6:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Star of Wonder
12/26/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

The Shepherds
12/24/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Mary and the Angel
12/18/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Zechariah
12/17/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Slow Down for Christmas: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
12/13/2019 10:35:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Christmas Cookies: a a faith based story from the Story Powerline
12/10/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Laura Jane Cerling

First Thanksgiving, Part 2: Beginning in Weakness (a faith based story)
11/28/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Rami Scully

First Thanksgiving, Part 3: Gifts & Gratitude (a faith based story from the Story Powerline)
11/28/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Rami Scully

First Thanksgiving, Part 1: Enduring the Sea Voyage (a faith based story)
11/27/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Rami Scully

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part 3: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
11/22/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Néaouguen Nodjimbadem as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part 2: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
11/19/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Néaouguen Nodjimbadem

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part 1: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
11/12/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Nodji (Néaouguen Nodjimbadem) as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Preventing Parent Burnout: from the Parent Powerline
11/4/2019 5:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Grandma Time: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
11/1/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Jennifer Cummings

Safe Amid Snakes and Semi-Trucks: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
10/30/2019 3:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

The Love & Diaper (Nappy) Connection
10/25/2019 6:30:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Avon Perfume Surprise: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
10/22/2019 7:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Saving Butterscotch: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
10/16/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Karen M. Pickett Ward

The Patient in Room 116: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
10/8/2019 9:10:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Belshazzar: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
10/2/2019 6:45:00 AM  by: Retold by Paula Kortkamp Combs

Reading to Babies
9/30/2019 2:37:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

My Mysterious Relative & the Missing Paycheck: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
9/26/2019 3:17:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Keeping in Touch with Cousins: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
9/24/2019 3:20:00 PM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

How the Ostrich Got His Long Neck: a faith based retold story from the Story Powerline
9/9/2019 3:49:00 PM  by: Retold by Becky Cerling Powers

When Life Goes Up in Smoke: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
8/20/2019 3:28:00 PM  by: Glen A. Hinshaw

Focusing on the good stuff: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
8/20/2019 3:24:00 PM  by: Joe Herman