View Full Version : Why was Zechariah punished?
September 26th 2003, 07:25 AM
Luke 1:18 Zechariah said to the angel, "How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is old as well." 1:19 The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 1:20 And now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will be silent, unable to speak, until the day these things take place."
One of the things that is confusing to me is that Zechariah was questioning the angel. I think that I would have done the same thing. Actually, in the Old Testament Gideon asks God for proof that God will help him. I am confused as to why Zechariah was punished for asking "How can I be sure"? After all, aren't we supposed to test the spirit?
September 26th 2003, 07:27 AM
Zechariah knew it was an angel, no question of that. But being a priest he had no excuse for not remembering Abraham and Sarah and what they were told; he doubted in an unbelieving way. What the Angel proposed was not beyond the bounds of faith. Mary on the other hand had a legitimate objection - I ain't married.
September 26th 2003, 08:49 AM
Great points Solly!
September 26th 2003, 10:00 AM
That's a good answer. However, did the angel have the right or authority to judge Zechariah's faith and then punish him accordingly?
Do angels know whether we have faith? Our thoughts?
September 26th 2003, 10:02 AM
September 26th 2003, 10:03 AM
Great question Vladimir!
September 26th 2003, 10:10 AM
Yes, a good question.
The Angel was God's messenger. He wasn't acting on his own authority, and God could quite easily tell him what to say next, just as he did with the prophets. Being a spirit being, he wouldn't be hampered by time delays in communication.
September 26th 2003, 10:10 AM
Zechariah was in the Holy of Holies performing the ceremonial incense burning before the mercy seat. See Exodus 30:6, Leviticus 16:13
For someone to be standing by the altar they would have had to enter via the crowd out front praying (Luke 1:10), which would have been a sacrilege upon the entire nation at this time. They were all waiting for him to come out and get them the blessing.
He is told his prayer has been answered - so he had been praying about having a child and he responds with "Whereby shall I know this?"
He not only couldn't speak - but he couldn't give the people the blessing. This is a HUGE issue, so its not so much a punishment upon Zechariah as it is the Lords confirmation in that prophet to come in the spirit of Elijah.
A few months later he proclaims:
67 ___And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68 ___Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 ___And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 ___As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71 ___That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 ___To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73 ___The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
74 ___That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
75 ___In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
76 ___And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 ___To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 ___Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 ___To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80 ___And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
October 2nd 2003, 03:09 PM
a simpler answer...
God could have told Gabriel.. Say this to this priest.... and if he doubts, then tell him that because of his doubt or unbelief he will be punished. In otherwords, the decision to punich Zechariah came from God and not from an angel.
I also agree with poster above, who suggested that Zechariah was punished by God because he doubted that God could repeat what He did with Serah, Abraham's wife.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.