As our story continues, we see the blessing of Zachariah now able to speak after months of silence. Boy does he speak, well, actually he proclaims some things!
Elizabeth gives birth to John the Baptist and the neighbors have gathered to congratulate them. They ask, “What will you name him?” Elizabeth spoke up, since John couldn’t, and said, “He is to be called John. (Luke 1: 60)
Zechariah grabs a writing tablet and says, “His name is John.” (Luke 1: 63) Immediately his mouth opened as he said his name! The name John means, “The Lord is gracious.”
- The grace of God must be proclaimed.
Now, able to speak, Zechariah holds up his son and prophesied, “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation, through the forgiveness of sins.” (Luke 1: 76-77)
The call of John is all that Zechariah proclaimed him to be. “And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.” (Luke 1: 80)
Just like his mother, she lived in seclusion for a short while, as she carried him. John didn’t appear in public until he was thirty years old. Interesting, just like Jesus.
(Shared from Luke 1: 57-80)
Ezekiel Proclaims Against
Proclamations from God are good unless you’re proclaiming gloom and doom. Ezekiel is concerned about Edom. “While the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate. Because you rejoiced when the inheritance of the house of Israel became desolate.” (Ezekiel 35: 14-15)
Prophecy To Israel
Israel, God’s chosen, has promised this: “I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from your idols.” (Ezekiel 36: 24-25)
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36: 26-27)
- With God, it’s always been about giving us a new heart.
- In Jesus, we need Him in our hearts, so the Holy Spirit will be the change agent He is, as we embrace His transforming and renewing power.
(Shared from Ezekiel 35-36, Modified)
Redemption Still Alive
These are the things that Isaiah was called to proclaim. John the Baptist, the New Testament prophet, called to speak the same thing. Same message, different time.
Isaiah says, “Surely, the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. Your iniquities have separated you from your God.” (Isaiah 59: 1-2)
John will preach the same message years later.
Isaiah saw it, “The Redeemer will come to Zion, those in Jacob who repent of their sins declares the Lord.”
It’s amazing how what was spoken long ago is relevant today. “My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 59: 21)
Amazing, he is seeing the new covenant in Jesus that will come. The newborn babe we celebrate is the new covenant, is our Jesus, who is our redemption.
He is not only the sign of the new covenant, but He is the new covenant. Trust in Him. We have new life, eternal life. The Father, our Heavenly Father, has proclaimed it long ago.
So it was written, so it was done!
(Shared from Isaiah 59, Modified)
UNBROKEN LOVE SERIES
You can find all of the Unbroken Love series posts by clicking the button below.