(View the full advent devotional guide here)
I have recently attended two weddings and noticed how many details have to go into all the planning of such events. There can then be a feeling of euphoria as one sees their own long-term plans coming together after many years of anticipation. As we all anticipate different events or milestones like a graduation or a wedding, there can be a sense of surreal joy. We may even ask ourselves, “Is this really happening?” For thousands of years throughout the Old Testament, God’s people had been receiving promises of salvation. We begin to see some of that fulfillment unfolding in the life of Zechariah and Elizabeth.
Zechariah and Elizabeth had faithfully served God and yet were without a child. I’m sure like most couples they dreamed of starting a family and hearing little feet running through their home. When they were “advanced in years,” God revealed to them that they were going to be parents. When John was born, and Zechariah had finally become the father of a little boy, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied the following:
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
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 ancestors
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
75 in 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.”
As Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, he was praising God for the salvation that had been promised and is now being revealed. Jesus is called the “horn of salvation,” which symbolizes strength. Jesus is strong enough to save us and strong enough to keep us in that salvation. When we experience God’s provision for our need, we too should be quick to praise God for that provision. Worship should be commonplace as we reflect on what God has promised and what is being provided.
Reflect on all the prophets and the preparations that God made for the advent of Jesus. Think of all the details that He made for Jesus to come in the “fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4). What provisions would you like to praise God for today? In which areas of your life have you seen God’s long-term planning evident?
I praise you God for being a detail-oriented planner for your provisions. As I become joyful to see my plans unfold, I’m sure your joy spills out into all of heaven as you see your salvation’s plan unfolding before all of creation and those in the heavenly realm. I join them today in an attitude of praise and awe over all that you have accomplished and are accomplishing in me and around me.