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Posts Tagged ‘Zechariah & Elizabeth’

If you read my blog regularly you might have noticed that my age is starting to worry me a bit, although I try to keep Sarah’s story in mind when my faith falters.  So it’s logical that I would research it and do a post on the older parents in the Bible:

Genesis 11:30-32 (NIV):  30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no children.   31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.”

Genesis 21:1-5 (NIV):  The Birth of Isaac 1 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised.  2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.  3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.  4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him.  5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.”

I heard the following in a message from Joyce Meyer recently:  The Lord had first asked Terah the father of Abraham to move away from Ur to the Promised Land, but Terah settled in Haran, and did not go any further.  God had to find someone else to make a covenant with and that person was Abraham.  The covenant was a very big promise:  A lot of fertile land, children as many as the stars and incredible blessings.  Terah settled for something less of that big promise God made, but Abraham did not and he eventually received everything that God had promised.  Are you settling or are you going after God’s promises in your life?

According to my reference Bible God used Abraham and Sarah’s infertility to build a special relationship with Abraham, so that Abraham could trust God and take the chance to move away. Because of the trust Abraham had in God he received the blessings that God had promised him and God showed how almighty He is by making Sarah pregnant at an age (90) when it was totally impossible.

In the last few years there have been many reports of older mothers in the news with claims that they are the world’s oldest moms, ladies of 62, 66, 67 and even 70 having babies with the help of IVF and donor eggs and sperm, but all this pales in comparison to Sarah getting pregnant naturally at the age of 90.  It could only have been a miracle from God.

Genesis 25:19-21 (NIV):   19 This is the account of Abraham’s son Isaac.  Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.  21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.” 

Genesis 25:26 (NIV):  “… Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.”

Isaac was the child through which God’s promise was supposed to be fulfilled, but in spite of that he and his wife Rebekah were childless for 20 years.  I read one theory that in this case it could have been due to male factor infertility, according to the language of the Torah.  It says that Isaac pleaded to the Lord in the presence of his wife, rather than on behalf of his wife, and that God answered him, and not his wife.  Isaac also had no other children, so it could be the reason…

Our scripture says “… because she was barren.”  I don’t think in those times it could really be established with whom the problem was, but the important fact is that they were childless for 20 years before Rebekah had the twins and Isaac was 60 years old already when they were born. 

Luke 1:7 (NIV):  7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well on in years.”

Luke 1:36-37 (NIV):  36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.   37 For nothing is impossible with God.

Luke 1:18-20 (NIV):  18 Zechariah asked the angel, How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well on in years.  19 The angel answered, I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.  20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”

Luke 1:65-66 (NIV):  65 The neighbours were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.  66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, What then is this child going to be? For the Lord’s hand was with him.”

Both Elizabeth and Zechariah were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.”  Luke 1:6 (NIV).  So their infertility was not due to sin in their lives (you can also read  this post).  It also says that both of them were old, so old in fact that everybody talked about it.  They were so old that Zechariah could not help but to question the angel Gabriel.  As punishment for that he could not speak until his child’s birth.

It was such a miracle not only for this couple, but for everyone around them, that it could not be disputed by anyone.  This created an expectation that this child would be someone great one day, and he was – he was the forerunner of Jesus Christ – a very important job!

I love Luke 1:37:  “37 For nothing is impossible with God.  This scripture is so apt in all of the above examples, not only in Elizabeth’s case.  It could only have happened with the help of God, no other way, and it just shows that indeed nothing is impossible with God!

Fortunately we are not as old as these people from the Bible yet, so I’m going to keep them in mind for inspiration.  We have a lot more in our favour, so if they could get their miracles there sure is hope left for us!

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Have you ever wondered whether you are being punished for something and that that is the reason you are infertile?  For many years I thought I was being punished and I wracked my brain to find out what sin could have caused it.  I was constantly begging for forgiveness for my sins, but still no pregnancy, no baby…..

There is nothing wrong with confessing sins, and sometimes bad things can happen as a result of sin.   I am also certainly not without sin either, but what I’m trying to say is that I am very conscious of sin in my life and I try to confess it as soon as I realize I am doing it.  I also realized that we all have sin in our lives, yet not everyone is infertile.  It was just obvious that even though I confess my sins regularly and I try not to sin at all (but I must confess I’m not too successful in that area), I was still not pregnant.  Sin was also not the only aspect in my life that I tried to rectify simultaneously, but I’ll get into the other areas in the other blog entries that I’m planning to write.

John 9:1-3(NIV):  “1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.    2 His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?    3 Neither this man nor his parents sinned, said Jesus, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

I must have read this before, but one morning while I was doing Bible study I suddenly saw the words: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, said Jesus”.  Suddenly I realized that I might not be infertile due to something I, or one of my forefathers did wrong.  Maybe God also wants to display His Power and Might through my life? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Luke 1:5-7 (NIV):  5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.    6 Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.    7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well on in years.

It’s the same with the story of Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth.  It says that they were both “upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly”.  That means that their infertility was not due to sin in their lives.  It was surely a miracle for Elizabeth to get pregnant at her advanced age, and God had an awesome plan for their child:

Luke 1:14-17 (NIV):  14 He will be a joy and delight to you and many will rejoice because of his birth,    15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.     16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.    17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous— to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

So I guess the lesson I have learnt from this is that:  it might not be due to sin that I haven’t been able to get pregnant yet.    Maybe He also wants to show what a miracle it would be for me to get pregnant, to such an extent that nobody would be able to dispute it.

I must just trust in Him and keep my eyes on Jesus….

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