Why do we question God, even when His plan is bigger than our thoughts?


What are your motives when you question God?
This week as we continue our series on the five Christmas songs of the Bible, we will study the song of Zechariah.
Before we get into this song however, I want to show you some interesting points found in a few verses surrounding Zechariah’s song.
Let’s start when the angel appeared to Zechariah and told him that his wife Elizabeth was to bare a son.
This passage is found in Luke 1:11-20:
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” 19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”

In verse 18, you’ll notice that Zechariah questioned the validity of what Gabriel was foretelling. Mary also questioned what the angel had told her about the birth of Christ; but her questions were spoken in wonder and amazement, while Zechariah’s questions were spoken out of disbelief. In response to Zechariah’s questioning, Gabriel took Zechariah’s speech away from him until John’s birth. That was a whole 9 months of silence!
Again I ask, what are your motives for questioning the Lord?

As imperfect humans, we question the plans of a perfect God. Even when we can not see the bigger picture. After Zechariah was sentenced to 9 months of imposed silence was when he sang his song. This song is recorded in Luke 1:68-80: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us 72 to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant,73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
I imagine that as Zechariah spoke, he was thinking only of the political freedom for Israel from the Romans. What a wonderful picture of prophecy God had so beautifully painted through Zechariah’s words. A prophecy of salvation not just for Israel, but all of mankind! And to think that Zechariah had questioned the very vital role his family was to play in this prophetic picture of love.

As you think on these passages this week, I encourage you to examine how and why you question what God is telling you to do. Do you question out of awe, wonder, and amazement as Mary had done? Or do you question out of doubt and disbelief like Zechariah? Ask God to help you trust His perfect will and plan for your life, even when you can’t see the tapistry of love the master painter is crafting for you.

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December 10, 2007. The Monday Meal.

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