“Once when Zechariahʼs division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.”
Luke 1:8-10 NIV
I did it this morning. I got out of bed and fell to my knees and meditated on what it must have been like on this day when Gabriel made his presence known to Zechariah. This cute little cherub above is one of the angels I have setting amongst my Christmas decorations. By no means, is this ceramic doll intimidating at all. She has a blinking light that flashes every 15 secs or so. She doesn’t scare me, but my two grandsons sing a different story. They are not fans of ceramic dolls especially the blinking kind. “La, there’s something blinking in your office,” Lucas informed me as he snuggled in closer. “Oh yeah, that’s just my flashing angel decoration,” I replied back nonchalantly. “Pop Pop, show me” he said to his grandfather. Kevin’s strong protective hand guided Lucas to the flashing light. He showed Lucas the angel without flipping the light switch. “She’s creepy,” then Lucas turned from her presence. Asher didn’t even get up to investigate; he just took his brother’s word for it.
This morning as I recall this incident, I empathize with Asher and Lucas, but the bible takes this fear up several notches. Zechariah did not encounter a cute little flashing ceramic angel. Both Daniel and Zechariah fell prostrate before this awe inspiring angel. Zechariah was gripped with fear. Gabriel’s presence invoked trembling and intimidation. We can’t just read these verses without respecting the true wonder of it all. Don’t let this moment escape you. Zechariah was fulfilling his duty. He was present in the moment interceding and lighting the altar of incense alone behind the veil that separated The Holy Place from the worshipers outside. His moment is interrupted because heaven touched earth.
Gabriel had a message for him from God Most HIgh. That is Gabriel’s mission for this moment and it wasn’t his first. He delivered a messages before to the prophet Daniel. Daniel reacted in the same manner as Zechariah. This angelic soldier in the Army of the Lord caused moments of intimidation.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Ephesians 6:12 NIV
What are you thoughts about the unseen battle that wages around us?
Try placing yourself in Zechariah’s shoes in The Holy Place. Get still a moment. Can you feel the rush of Angel’s wings? Does the Lord have a message for you? Listen close.