Learning Your Lesson
“‘Now you will be silent and not able to speak . . . until the proper time.’ . . . Immediately his mouth was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God.” Luke 1:20,64 NIV
Aren’t you glad you don’t always have to be struck with something by God to learn the right thing to do? I mean, just ‘to get it’ or to ‘catch on’ without having to be whopped up side the head, is good, because, well, let’s be honest – how many times have you not caught on without having to learn something “the hard way?”
Not that God is in the habit of whacking people just for the fun of it or with no real purpose. No, not at all. But he will use the “love must be tough” approach if it’s a lesson that in his love and wisdom he knows is vital for me to learn. For truth be told, if it’s essential to his holiness and my spiritual health, he’ll use whatever it takes to help me wake up and smell the coffee.
Do you have trouble with that concept? Does it seem a little hard or whimsical to you? Then you need to listen to Zach. Yes, I strongly suspect Old Zechariah would have said a hearty, “Amen!” to it. What Zach needed more than anything was to take God at his word. Yes, no matter what they word had been. Yes, even if that word seemed to defy everything that agreed with reason and common experience.
And Zach apparently learned his lesson well for as soon as he picked up on it, God gave him his speech back. And what was the first thing Zach said? He cursed God for his cruelty and unjust punishment, right? He had bitter words about how his life could have been much better without such an affliction, no? No is right!
“. . . he began to speak, praising God.”
Years ago I had a prof – my favorite (John Willis) – who had a saying: “God has two ways to get through to people. One way is through his word. The other way is with a bat.” That says it all.
May you and I be ever alert, ever quick to agree with God and ever strive to live in faith and activity that aligns with his revealed word to us. Anything else or less is just asking for it.