All three Wisewomen of this series have now been covered, so the last half will now cover the other three Wisemen! The first " Wiseman", other than the ones that followed the Star of Bethlehem, is Zacharias, the husband to Elizabeth (first Wisewoman covered). This follows the chronological order of Scripture. In studying this portion, I learned ALOT personally from the Lord, and it was a blessing to me. I pray that it will be in some way to you too!
1) Zacharias was a Wiseman in that he was DEVOUT. Luke 1: 5-7 gives the details of his AND Elizabeth's walk with the Lord. They both were of the tribe of Aaron, and "walked in ALL the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." This portion of the Christmas story recorded, Zacharias was the priest,whose DUTY was of the course of Abia, which meant he was the priest to burn the incense at the time of prayer. The Altar of Incense was made of acaica wood covered in gold, and the two main ingredients of the incense burned were Frankincense and Myrrh! This again shows what was in store, 2 years later, that the Wisemen WOULD be bringing! In studying, I found that there were 24 "courses" of service in the Temple, set up by King David, (I Chron. 24:10). The course of Abia was the 8th, and 8 is the number of Salvation in the Bible. This was not by chance, as it further shows the Hand of God in the miracle He was about to announce to Zacharias. Luke 1: 7&8 say that although he was "well stricken in years", he was executing, following every jot and tittle, of his office. He remained faithful DESPITE his physical age. While serving, suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared unto him. Fear fell upon him, as he saw the angel on the RIGHT side of the altar. The angel DECLARED unto him that the Lord had heard his and his wife's prayer. This was the time of prayer for the whole multitude of Israel, BUT the Lord was sending a personal answer to a DECADES old prayer of them both, and was about to bless them for their DEDICATION.
2). Zacharias was a DEVOUT Wiseman, BUT he was just that-a man, and all men are sinners and make mistakes. He was about to make one of DOUBT. This made him no less righteous in God's eyes, as he remembers our frames are but dust (Ps.103:14). The angel Gabriel, was sent directly to Zacharias from the throne of God with the Decree that their prayer had been heard, that she would conceive a son, and that he would call his name John (meaning "God is Gracious").He wouldn't be just any son, but he was going to be the fore-runner of the Messiah, and great in the sight of the Lord. He would be a Nazarite, meaning he would drink no wine or strong drink. Most miraculously of all, he would be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb!! Gabriel even said the parents would have joy and gladness, and many would rejoice at his birth. He would go forth preaching in the power of Elias (Elijah) and turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the "wisdom of the just", to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. BUT, instead of believing the angel, he asked a question on DOUBT! Like most of us, he looked at the decree and assumed there was something HE had to do, when it was a miracle, which God does, and surely doesn't need our help! But how often do we do the same?? After years ofl praying, he looked at how old they both were and then basically asked, "by or through WHOM, how, or in accordance with agreement " (definition on "whereby") could he know this was the truth? Gabriel then decreed that at the at moment he was standing in the presence of God, and sent to speak these glad tidings unto him. Because of this question of doubt and unbelief, God struck him DUMB, not able to speak until the day that these things would be performed. Now he would not be able to easily tell others, the full details of what was said and done. He would have to sign or write to communicate.
3). Zacharias DEPARTED wisely in faith, as SOON as his days of ministration were over. Even though he had been chastised by God, He remained FAITHFUL, and served. How many of us would have left early, or given up?? But, he finished what He was called to do. He had learned to obey and not doubt!. He hasted home when his days of service were done, just as Mary and the shepherds did, to see and carry out what the Lord had revealed to them! I can only imagine the conversation, or at least the events that took place once he got home to Elizabeth! Just as the message Gabriel delivered, she conceived and 9 months later, a son was born!
4.) Lastly, Zacharias had a son DELIVERED! A son was born to the well stricken parents, by a miracle of God! Their neighbors and family rejoiced with them, just as Gabriel decreed (Luke 1:14). When 8 days passed and it was time to take him to the Temple for circumcision, he DECLARED his name was John. But; HOW He did so showed he had learned to never DOUBT such a decree from God the Father again. He wanted EVERYONE to know, and it to forever be on record! He could have "signed" the child's name but asked for a writing tablet, then made of clay, that would harden and be forged forever, when it dried. He took it upon arrival, and DREW THE LETTERS, OR WROTE: "His name is JOHN"! He WISELY believed and agreed with the Word of God, that DECREEED this event!
5.) Lastly, this Wise, DECREPIT DADDY immediately began to prophesy of the DAYSPRING from on High! His act of FAITH opened his mouth and he began to praise God! Fear fell upon all around them, and it was told abroad throughout Judea. His "wisdom of the just" was now seen as only God could orchestrate! He began to prophesy " Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed his people...To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He sware to our father Abraham." (Luke 1: 68&72). "And thou child shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest, for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His way; to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, Through, the tender mercy of our God; whereby the DAYSPRING from on high hath visited us, " (vs 76-78). That Dayspring was JESUS, the Son of God!" What a blessing and long-awaited answer to prayer for this senior couple! None of it was by chance. God CHOSE this WISE couple, to use in the story of the plan or redemption. He gave them a child that was not only the cousin to Jesus, but the Fore-Runner of the Redeemer! Elizabeth's name meant " God is my oath", Zacharias name meant "YHWH remembers", and John meant " God is gracious"! So, This family DELCARED to the world that "YHWH (Jehovah) remembers His oath, and is Gracious in doing so!" May we be WISE as well, to let our "Judea" know all the wonderful things that God has so graciously done for us!!