“Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes, careful to obey the Lord's commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.” Luke 1: 6,7 (NLT)
As a follower of Jesus Christ, there are just some things we are not going to understand. Here we have the priest Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth. The Bible tells us they were righteous before God and walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. They were described as blameless. And yet, they could not have children. It does not make sense! There may be no earthly explanation.
The Jewish people considered children a sign of God’s favor. Conversely, not having children was a sign of God’s disfavor. So how can it be for this God-fearing and God-honoring couple, they could not have children?
Have you faced circumstances you did not understand? Have you walked closely with God in obedience and thanksgiving only to find yourself dealing with adversity - perhaps again and again - and wonder why?
Jesus addressed this conundrum in the Gospel of John. “As Jesus went on His way, He saw a man who had been born blind. His followers asked Him, ‘Teacher, whose sin made this man to be born blind? Was it in the sin of this man or the sin of his parents?’ Jesus answered, ‘The sin of this man or the sin of his parents did not make him to be born blind. He was born blind so the work of God would be seen in him.” John 9: 1-3 (NLT)
The question is, will we trust our Heavenly Father even when we don’t understand the adversity or challenging circumstances we face? Will we respond as Esther when faced with approaching her king to save her people, even though it was against the law? “And so, I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” Esther 4: 16 (NKJV)
Will we have the fortitude expressed by Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego when facing the fiery furnace? Refusing to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s gods or gold images, the three young men were about to be thrown in the fire. Before going, they said, “…our God whom we serve can deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” Daniel 3: 17, 18 (NKJV)
These people were righteous before God and walked in all the commandments, and yet they faced dire circumstances. Surely, they had to question what God was doing and why were they forced to face insurmountable challenges. Ultimately, however, they chose to trust, obey and worship God.
As for Zacharias and Elizabeth, Luke tells us in Luke 1: 11, “But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.’” (NKJV)
Esther found favor before the king. God used her to save the Jewish people. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were not only saved from the fire, but afterwards King Nebuchadnezzar made a decree against any who spoke against their God and then promoted them!
Just like the examples, we will not always understand what God is up to or why we must go through trials and tribulations. What we can count on is the power, presence and love of a Heavenly Father who loves us. We must believe He does indeed hear our prayers. We must believe His promise: “And we know God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)