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December 13, 2022 Advent Reflection

December 13, 2022

Zechariah’s prophecy

We’ve heard a bit of Zechariah’s story over the last few days… He finds out in the temple that he is going to have a baby in his old age; he questions this; he is made mute. Now Zechariah names his baby John and is finally able to speak again!

I love just before this in verse 64 it says that when Zechariah gets his voice back the first thing he does is bless God. We see this at the start of today's prophecy in verse 68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel!” In fact, I noticed when I read that the whole first section, it is not about Zechariah or even about his son that would become John the Baptist… but instead it praises God and speaks of Jesus, the coming Messiah!

How did he know? Fact is - he didn’t. God was revealing this to him and his family as he spoke. A prophecy is a message from God. Zechariah was the deliverer, not the creator of this message. He announces: “We are being delivered!”, “We are being saved!”, “We will stand in holiness and righteousness!”. And then he says of his own son, “And you get to go before the Lord and give people the knowledge of salvation!”.

When I read the passage through for a second time the phrase “he has raised up a horn of salvation” stood out to me (vs 69). What is that really? Psalm 18:2 mentions it as well:

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

It seems to me that a horn of salvation would be announcing salvation - it is the noise that would be raised when the battle has been won! It is the public declaration of a victory - something sounded for all to hear. And here in Zechariah’s prophecy it refers to Jesus.

So what do we do with all of this? These might be neat understandings but how does this impact our day today?. What is it that you want us to hear, learn and know of you Jesus?

As I listened for God to speak to me about this passage I felt like he reminded me of the importance of declarations. When we speak out the truth for others to hear and sometimes for our own ears to hear, it reminds us of Christ’s victory for us, of the hope and plans he has for us. Sometimes we need someone to sound a horn to know the battle is over. Don’t we often wait for confirmation, an announcement, or someone else to agree with the conclusion we have drawn before we place too much hope in it?

Are there areas of your life where you are desperate for victory and need to hear a horn of salvation? Invite Jesus into the battle and ask for his will to be done. Are there areas in your life that seem settled but you can’t help but wonder what disaster tomorrow will bring? Do you need some confirmation of victory? Ask Jesus to sound the horn of his salvation so that you rest in his goodness and mercy. I would even suggest asking God for some truths about your identity and your circumstances that you can say out loud… or listen for someone else and pass them on to them. We need to hear the horn of salvation in our lives, in our relationships, in our circumstances. Jesus came to be with us and to tell us that we stand in victory with him.

Jesus, would you bring people into our lives that echo the sound of your victory, people that speak truth and declare the hope you have for us and remind us of the salvation and abundant life we have in you? Make us that voice for others as well. May we see and hear your messages from heaven and the sound of your horn of salvation this season and in our lives.

Written by Kelly Beitz


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