Are you in a season of hopelessness?
2020 has been a year that has caused anxiety, loneliness, and despair. We have experienced an erosion of our trust in so many spheres of society. Hopelessness seems to prevail.
2000 years ago, Israel was in a hopeless situation. They had been promised a messiah, someone who would set them free and establish his throne, making the nation greater than it had ever been.
However, it had been seven hundred years since the prophet Isaiah had penned Isaiah 9:6 & 7.
The nation had been destroyed and taken into exile. Now they were under the oppressive rulership of the Roman Empire. For the past four hundred years, God had been silent.
Had God forgotten His promises?
But as hopeless as the situation was, God was at work. God was orchestrating all human history to this one pivotal moment in time (Galatians 4:4).
In Luke 1 God begins to speak. Zachariah, a priest in the temple, and his wife Elizabeth were chosen by God to be the parents of John the Baptist. A miraculous birth to a couple who were beyond childbearing age and had probably given up hope of having children of their own.
John was miraculously conceived, and the Bible says that he was filled with the Holy Spirit even in Elizabeth’s womb.
When the child was to be named, Zachariah confirmed that his name was to be John and God gave him back his ability to speak. Immediately Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and sang this incredible prophetic song. But the song is not about his son John, he is primarily singing about the Messiah, who is yet to come. The hope of the promised Messiah.
This prophetic song gives us four pictures of what the birth of Jesus will mean.
1. The first picture is The Redeemer (Luke 1:68).
A redeemer is a liberator, someone who sets the captives free. This echoes Isaiah 61, which Jesus read in the temple in Luke 4. This picture makes it clear that we cannot free ourselves from the penalty of our sins and we need Jesus to be our redeemer (Ephesians 1:7)
2. The Victorious Warrior (Luke 1:69).
A Horn in scripture symbolizes strength and power (Luke 1:71). In these verses we have a picture of an army that is about to be defeated, until a redeemer comes to free them. But more than that, the enemy is completely defeated so that he cannot take any more captives.
This redeemer is from the house of David. David was a mighty warrior and ruthless conqueror. God had promised in Micah 5:2 that this redeemer would be of the tribe of Judah.
We as follower of Jesus know What we have been saved from. But do we know what we have been saved for? We are saved for so much more than simply getting to heaven. We get to serve Jesus in this life, to bring glory to the Father (Luke 1:74-75).
3. The Debt is Cancelled (Luke 1:76).
In verse 76, Zachariah turns to his new-born son and declares that this child will be a prophet of the Most-High. He will be someone who goes before to let people know that someone is coming who can forgive sins.
All of us are sinners and owe a debt that we cannot repay, and we have all fallen short of the glory of God. Only by the blood of Jesus can we be set free from the debt of our sin (Romans 3:23).
4. The Dawning of a New Day (Luke 1:78-79).
The Messiah was prophesied to be the light of the world (Isaiah 9:2). This was the dawning of a new day.
Have you ever gone through a season of hopelessness? Everything seems to be heavy and dark, with no end in sight. But suddenly your prayers are answered, and God breaks through. The next morning it is as if everything is new, the weight has been lifted from your shoulders. This is what the priest saw, the lifting of the burden off the shoulders of the nation and the world.
Looking back to the earlier verses of Luke 1, nine months earlier, Zachariah had a visit from the Angel Gabriel. Zachariah was in the temple and faithfully going about tending to the candle of incense. Zachariah and Elizabeth were both faithful and righteous people (Luke 1:6).
Zachariah was faithful and even after all the years of God’s silence he was still burning the incense and obeying the law. God heard their prayers of the nation, and at the appointed time, the light of the world was revealed, their hope was fulfilled.
Where is your hope today?
Are you hoping in the government, the economy, your bank balance, or some prophetic word that you were watching on YouTube?
We are living in a time where everyone is desperate for hope. Something tangible we can cling to. But there is only one definite promise, this same Jesus who came as a baby 2000 years ago is coming again. That is where we place our hope, not in temporary goals or comforts.
As Jesus was talking to his disciples about the promise of his return in Matthew 24, he said this in verse 14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
The previous verses speak about the terrible things that will come on the world before Jesus comes again. But we have the certain promise that this gospel message WILL be proclaimed to all people groups. That is the hope that we can count on.
Has your hope in the things of this world been shattered?
Only God knows what you are really going through and only God can guarantee His promises over your life.
Repent of the things in which you have been placing your hope and place your absolute trust and faith in Jesus.
He is the only one who has the power to guarantee your future salvation!