THE INAUGURATION OF THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE
Luke 5 to 25
Charles e Whisnant July 15, 2012
Zacharias is the main character.
We remember his personal righteousness from verses 5 to 7.
We saw his priestly responsibility in verses 8 to 10.
As we said last time, while he was in the Holy of Holies an angel of the Lord appeared to him. Now we see his prophetic revelation: in verses 11-25
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
Now let’s see Zacharias’ distrust response.
19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.
I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. The other angel is Michael, and they seem to be God’s appointed angels to be in connection with the human race and its enemies. Gabriel is the special messenger of good news. He comes to David and tells him of the restoration of Jerusalem. And we saw Michael in Daniel in the war against Satan.
Gabriel and Michael are standing in God’s presence, nearest to his throne, standing ready at the command of God and their eyes are upon the Lord.
The Judgment Upon Zacharias]
He could not talk. Vs. 62 tells us. That would be a great idea, if God would just shut up those who did not believe His word. In that case many people would not talk most of their lives.
Now for Zacharias that would be bad. You know if I couldn’t talk, oh my, that would be bad. But to be both deaf and dumb by an act of judgment form God would be worse. That is what Zacharias did, he told people about God and gave them counsel and wisdom.
He was to be deaf and dumb until John was born, vs. 57 tells us this.
We are now going to proceed to the first stage of the wonderful history in the annunciation of the birth of John.
- I. THE CHARACTER AND POSITION OF ZACHARIAS.
- II. THE FAULT OF ZACHARIAS.
- III. THE PENALTY ZACHARIAS INCURRED.
UNBELIEF IS EVERYWHERE A GREAT SIN, AND A SERIOUS MISTAKE.
Unbelief does from time to time come to the heart of Christians. There are times of doubt in the life of believers. There is nothing that can drain the joy and energy from the Christian than doubt. When a saint begins to disbelieve God’s Word, he is more than likely going to rob himself of comfort, deprive himself of strength and really cause himself a real injury.
1A AS TO THE CHARACTER OF ZACHARIAS
2A THE FAULT OF ZACHARIAS.
“Okay if this is true, then how can it be done.” He was looking at the difficulty. “My wife is well up in years, you know.” And while he looked at the difficulty he would fain suggest a remedy, he wanted a sign.
“Whereby shall I know this?” I guess it was not enough that Gabriel came directly from the throne of God. He wanted some collateral evidence to guarantee the truth of the word of the Lord.
III. THE PENALTY ZACHARIAS INCURRED.
He had doubted and he became dumb, and likewise deaf. This was not out of anger but out of love. He in his silence took time to search his heart and to know the Lord better. Deep humility had taken the place of arrogant presumption. He learned to lean on the Lord more
Sometimes in deep doubt it will require strong corrective measures.
Now I am afraid there are many believers who have had to suffer something like this, for many days, on account of their unbelief. I think I can point out some who are unable to hear the gospel as once they did many years ago, a friend said that he could not hear me preach.
Buy a horn.” “No,” he said, “it is not your voice; I can hear that, but I don’t enjoy it.” My reply was, “Perhaps that is my fault, but I am far from sure that it is not your own.” I fear, in such cases, it is quite as often the hearer’s fault as the preacher’s fault.
At any rate, when others profit, and our judgment approves, though our hearts find no refreshment, there is reason to suspect that in the dullness of our senses we are compelled to bear chastisement for our unbelief.
- You go where others go, and find no solace.
- You hear what edifies and comforts them, but there is no cheer for you.
- You are deaf; your ears are closed to what the Lord says.
Very often it has happened, I fear, to some here, that, for want of faith, they have lost their speech.
- Time was when they could tell of the Lord’s goodness, but they seem silent now.
- They could sing once, but their harps are hung on the willows now.
- As they get with their companions, they seem as if they have lost all their pleasant conversation.
- If they try the old accustomed strings of the time-worn harp, the ancient skill is gone.
- They cannot praise God as once they did; and all because on one occasion, when the promise was clear before their eyes, they would challenge and mistrust it.