Terms of Endearment
Ok, I’ll admit that I never saw the movie but for some reason the phrase stuck in my head as I was thinking about what to write this morning. We are going to spend the week looking at the circumstances surrounding the birth of John the Baptist from chapter one of the gospel of Luke. Let’s read the beginning section right now: 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
The “terms of endearment” that I am referring to are the words “righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless”. These are the words that God uses to describe Zacharias and Elizabeth. I would like to think that God would use these words to describe me. How about you? Now, we know that Zacharias and Elizabeth were not perfect. They were still sinners. Yet, they followed and served God. Also note that Elizabeth was still barren and without children but that is my focus for tomorrow.
I’m wondering if the terms of endearment that God uses to describe Zacharias and Elizabeth are part of the reason that God chose them for the birth of John the Baptist. I have this theory about our life and God’s blessing. I think that the most significant consequences of our sin is not the punishment that we receive but the blessing that we miss out on. I wonder if the reason we read these words about Zacharias and Elizabeth are to remind us that when we are obedient to the Lord we put ourselves in the best position to be used by Him. Now, there’s no way that Zacharias and Elizabeth were thinking that their obedience would lead to a baby like John the Baptist. No way they thought that. But, could that have been in the mind and heart of God? I fear that we often think that we “get away” with our sin because we don’t see any immediate consequences but is this true? As I see it, the consequences we have are more likely to involve the missing of blessing and being used by God.
With the power of God, we should all strive to be blameless and righteous before God. With Jesus as our Savior we have this ability. When we do this, we put ourselves in the best possible position to be used of God for His purposes and activity. What do you think?