Daily Bible Reading Devotional [Luke 1:67-80]-September 6, 2017


Scripture Reading(s)


Zechariah’s Song

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
    and to remember his holy covenant,
73     the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him without fear
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.


Reflections


Justin-Holmes1.jpgThe song of Zechariah is drastically different from Mary’s song, in that Zechariah’s song if prophetic in nature. In fact, it provides a good bit of insight into what people were expecting from the coming savior.

69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us

74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him without fear

The messiah in Jewish tradition and scripture was depicted as a king who would conquer the enemies of Israel. It is true that some of the later prophets emphasized other attributes of the messiah but the main themes through the prophets definitely show the savior as being a conqueror (Jeremiah 30). The savior is also depicted as bringing the everlasting kingdom and world peace [shalome] (Isaiah 65).

So, if this is the messiah then what to make of Jesus? The story of Jesus is one of unanswered questions. Had the Jews accepted Jesus as the messiah, would Jesus have crushed Israel’s enemies and created a new kingdom? Would we have a new heaven and new earth?

For the Christian, we believe that these events will still take place, when Jesus returns. In fact, the book of Revelation is a serious vision that ties up all the loose ends in the question of Jesus the messiah. The question is, what will we spend our time doing on this earth while we wait? Will we spend our time trying to make the world look a bit more like Jesus’ kingdom? If we do, we will have brought the world one step closer to realizing the kingdom that God wants for us all.