Filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesying, John’s father, Zechariah, said:
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel! He has come to see his people and has redeemed them.
“Long ago through his holy prophets he said he would lift up in the house of his servant David, a horn of salvation for us from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. He said he would show lovingkindness to our ancestors by remembering to act on the holy covenant he swore on oath to keep with our father Abraham, namely to rescue us from the hand of our enemies and to enable us to serve him in holiness and righteousness before him without fear all of our days. And now he has!
“You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go ahead of the Lord to prepare the way for him. You will wise up his people as to the salvation available to them through God’s loving mercy and his forgiveness of their sins. The rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
And so the child grew up, became strong in spirit and lived in the desert until he made his public appearance appeared to Israel. (Luke 1:67-80 DSV – Zechariah’s song)
1. This song of praise stresses God’s active work of redeeming (vs.68), raising (vs.69), saving (vs.71), showing mercy (vs.72), remembering (vs.72), rescuing (vs.74), enabling (vs.74), etc. What similarities does this song have with Mary’s song of praise (1:46-55)?
2. Where/how else is the phrase “horn of salvation” (vs.69) used in the Bible?
3. This is the second time so far in Luke’s Gospel (1:55,73) that Abraham and God’s promise to him has been mentioned. Where exactly in Scripture does God make promises to Abraham and what all does he specifically promise?
4. What exactly does the phrase “serve him without fear” mean? (vs.74b)
5. Do we have record of any other individuals/groups about this same time who “lived in the desert” in the same general vicinity as did John prior to his “appearing publicly to Israel” and if so, do we see any similarity in perspective, life, message, etc. between them and John? (vs.80)