by Joe Alain

Serving in the Silence
Joe Alain
Luke 1:5-25 (Focal Verse, 1:7)

The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth is one of great faith and hope. We find their account recorded in Luke chapter 1. Verse 5 provides the setting for the story. The reference to ''the days of Herod'' reminds us that this was a dark time in the world. Herod the Great was an evil man (see Matthew 2) and a paranoid tyrant who held on to his throne at all costs, even executing family members he felt were a threat to his power.

Lights in the Darkness
In contrast to such a wicked person was a ''priest named Zechariah . . . and his wife . . . Elizabeth.'' They were two shining lights in a dark and crooked world. Zechariah was one of many priests in the days of Christ. From the time of David, in the Old Testament, the priests were divided into 24 courses or divisions, and he was only one of many in ''the division of Abijah.'' Abijah was one of the heads of the priestly families (see Neh. 12:17 and 1 Chr. 24:10). Elizabeth, a descendant of Aaron, was also of priestly lineage. Luke 1:6 provides two glimpses into the character of Zechariah and Elizabeth which allowed them to shine in the darkness.

First, ''they were both righteous before God.'' To be righteous means to be just, to be in a right relationship with God. God declared them righteous by faith. Second, they walked in ''all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.'' The word ''walk'' in Scripture has to do with a person's life, especially a person's conduct. Zechariah and Elizabeth conducted their life according to God's Word. They patterned their lives after the divine standard. Biblical righteousness is an inward quality that manifests itself in obedience to God's Word.

Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in their character; they were obedient to God's word in their conduct, and they were steadfast in their confession of faith. They were committed to living out (expressing) their faith. What a testimony of faithfulnes ...

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