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In the ultimate analysis there is nothing that Satan can do to get you out of the hand of God. As long as you choose to stay in God as your high tower there is nothing that he can do. There will be a price to pay, you will have to fast, but that is all.
4 [My purpose is] that you may know the full truth and understand with certainty and security against error the accounts (histories) and doctrines of the faith of which you have been informed and in which you have been [g]orally instructed.
This is the goal of the book of Luke. We want to know the full truth, there are those who don’t want to know. “It is in the Lord’s hands”. My boss would be pretty upset with me if that was my attitude at work. We are coworkers with the Lord, I want to be a good and faithful servant who when the Lord comes finds me doing what I am supposed to be doing “at the proper time”. I also want certainty, these “are the times that try men’s soul” and no doubt we need certainty and security against error.
5 In the days when Herod was king of Judea there was a certain priest whose name was Zachariah, [h]of the daily service (the division) of Abia; and his wife was also a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
Many of us are watching the news carefully. News of a global currency, economic collapse, natural disasters, rumors of China going to war, and of course the global pandemic. But the key point was not on the front page of the news, the key point was a certain priest named Zachariah and his wife Elizabeth.
6 And they both were righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.
Hmm, surely this is a misprint. Where is the part of how he pastored a mega church and had a powerful evangelistic ministry on the TV and internet? Was he a best selling author? Did he make movies?
7 But they had no child, for Elizabeth was barren; and both were far advanced in years.
Whoa, what?! We are talking about an old couple who had no child? It is so easy for the world to overlook a person who is walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. What the world values and what the Lord values are two different things. According to the world you have to get clicks, get views, get subscribers, etc. That is the “staff” of the world and it is a snake. We have seen Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook demonetize, shadow ban and censor channels according to their whim. The only one to trust is the Lord and the only one He will trust is one who walks blamelessly in all His commandments and requirements.
8 Now while on duty, serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 As was the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter [the [j]sanctuary of] the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
At a time when there are many scandals with many corrupt televangelists and false teachers, there is this man who is focused on serving the Lord. Many falsely conclude that since many of these “priests” are corrupt that you cannot trust any of them. The more accurate conclusion is that since many are corrupt and being paraded in front of your face the enemy is trying to distract you and tell you to go elsewhere. In football I was always taught to fight the pressure, if the other player is pushing you one way don’t go, that is what he wants. The more the enemy is telling me how terrible and corrupt the priests are the more I know that there is an exception, and that man is the key.
10 And all the throng of people were praying outside [in the court] at the hour of incense [burning].
So it may seem difficult to find this man, a needle in a haystack, but he is surrounded by a throng of people praying. These people are where they are supposed to be, they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, and they are there when they are supposed to be there. You could have found all that out by going to the Bible to see what it is that God requires.
11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
We are getting many saints with dreams and visions. Obviously we have heard of many frauds and false teachers who claim this same thing. How are we to distinguish between them? The first thing I would point out is that this man is walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of God. Too many try to claim that their dream or vision is evidence that they are a man of God. No, walking blamelessly in the commandments and requirements of God is the evidence. Doing what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it is evidence. If there is no evidence that this person is a man of God who cares what kind of weird or demonic dream or vision he has.
12 And when Zachariah saw him, he was troubled, and fear took possession of him. 13 But the angel said to him, Do not be afraid, Zachariah, because your petition [k]was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you must call his name John [God is favorable].
It is easy to read this and assume his petition was to have a son. But if that was the case then the angel would stop here. You asked for a son, done. Since he doesn’t stop here I understand that Zachariah was asking for everything that followed, his wife having a son was the surprise bonus to the answer of his prayer.
14 And you shall have joy and exultant delight, and many will rejoice over his birth, 15 For he will be great and distinguished in the sight of the Lord. And he must drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit even [l]in and from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn back and cause to return many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 And he will [himself] go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn back the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient and incredulous and unpersuadable to the wisdom of the upright [which is [m]the knowledge and holy love of the will of God]—in order to make ready for the Lord a people [perfectly] prepared [in spirit, [n]adjusted and disposed and placed in the right moral state].
If you look at Zachariah he seems completely oblivious to the despicable state of Christianity with all these people hawking the word of God. But he isn’t. It is another mistake of the world to assume that people who walk according to the laws and requirements of God are quaint, simple folk who are just too naive to grasp what is going on around them. He understood and was praying for someone to turn back the hearts of the fathers to the children, who could reach the disobedient and unpersuadable to the wisdom of God’s law. Zachariah was praying that they needed such a man and God also needed a man like Zachariah to raise this man.