“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”
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When my sweet boy was somewhere between 2 and 3, he used to have an occasional tantrum. Not regularly or often, just once in awhile. And we would say, “Zac, if you want to be mad, you can be—but we don’t want to have to listen to it.” We would lead him to his room and tell him he could be mad, but he had to do it there.
I’m not sure he ever spent two whole minutes in there. Usually in about half a minute, he’d come out of his room rubbing his eyes, and say, “I change my attitude, Mama.” And all was right between us, and he was my sweet, loving boy again.
I think that’s what we’re seeing here. Zechariah had a little time out, during which he pondered the wisdom of asking an angel of the Lord to prove himself. As an aside … I doubt I’d have the wherewithal to even form words in the presence of such a visitor, let alone challenge him. But maybe that’s just me.
Zechariah’s attitude definitely changed during his time out. I find it beautiful that the very first words he speaks, when he had regained his voice, was not, “Have you counted the baby’s toes? Does he have all ten?” Or, “Boy, have I missed talking!” No. Zechariah’s used his first syllables to praise the God who had blessed Him with both son and voice.
Some of the most beautiful praise in the world comes from the newly forgiven, or the recently chastised. Because the God of forgiveness; the God of second chances is worth the praise of our lips.