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Faithful in the Nothing

Posted by Charles Holsinger on June 11, 2018 at 1:30 AM

Luke 1: 8-11

8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,


9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.


10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.


11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

After reading this particular chapter in the book of Luke I noticed something that I've never seen before.  We often skim over parts of the Bible to get to the more interesting details.  This is one of those chapters.  This is a pre-show to the Birth of Christ, what could be greater than the Birth of Christ.  However, while I'm not trying to under emphasize the Birth of our Messiah I do want to take a few moments to look at a couple of people who faithfully served during a very tough season in their life.  

In our text we read about Zacharias a Priest who had the job of Burning the Incense in the temple.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, are described in scripture as righteous and blameless in keeping the ordinances and commandments of God.  However, in spite of their faithfulness we find out that Elizabeth was barren and unable to have children. 

I guess I find this inspiring and a little disheartening at the same time. 

Let me take care of the latter first.  I find it disheartening that in spite of their faithfulness to the house of God their prayer had not been answered.  It seems a little unfair at times when those who are faithful and righteous live their life without having such a request answered.  Don't get me wrong I do not believe that we should have total access to anything that we can ever think of in the flesh. But this was not a selfish request.  

I also find it even more inspiring!  Why? Because in spite of the fact their prayer had not been answered Zacharias served faithfully in the temple.  Burning incense would have been a very involved process.  While incense was being burned inside the temple and smoke would fill the room the smoke and aroma of the the incense would eventually come out the top of the temple and enter into the heavenlies up to the throne of God.  People would gather outside the temple and pray while Zacharias would burn the incense.  The Bible speaks about his precision when burning the incense and each time he did it he done it according to the custom or the instructions that he was given.  The Bible just doesn't say he casually burnt the incense but rather he executed it before God.  Even though there would not have been an audience inside while he burnt the incense he executed with percision every time! 

For years he and Elizabeth longed to have a son and years came and went without that petition being answered.  Now I'll let you in on a little secret.  They will eventually have a son and will call him John.  We know him as John the Baptist he will be the forerunner of Christ. 

But the purpose of this blog is to highlight the faithfulness that we read about during the time that their prayers were seemingly going unnoticed before the Lord.  While they lived through their season of nothing they still served faithfully.  It is really easy to serve God during the something's in life but the true testament to a person's character is what you do when there is nothing.  Do you serve God based upon what you have received from the Lord or do you serve God because you love Him. 

There will be many seasons in life where there is seemingly nothing and our reaction and response to the nothing will often lead us to the something's in life.  Zacharias being faithful in the nothing allowed him to be able to receive one of the greatest blessings in his life.  Had he stopped serving faithfully in the temple he would have disqualified himself from receiving the miracle from God. 

Maybe you have not received your miracle.  Maybe you have prayed for a long time.  Don't stop serving God faithfully when you are in a season of nothing.  The nothing will lead you to the something!   

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