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Monday, December 19, 2011

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Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17
Luke 1:5-25

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a common faith?

"But now you will be mute — unable to speak — until the day these things take place, because you have not trusted my words. They will all come true in due season." —Luke 1:20

Both Manoah and Zechariah had wives who were "barren and had borne no children" (Jgs 13:2; Lk 1:7). In a message from an angel, God promised each of these men that he would miraculously become a father of a son (Jgs 13:7; Lk 1:13). God also revealed to these men that their sons would be lifelong nazirites (Jgs 13:7; Lk 1:15; see Nm 6:2ff) and be extremely important in God's plan of salvation (Jgs 13:5; Lk 1:14-17). Manoah and Zechariah had much in common.

However, one difference between Manoah and Zechariah was faith. Manoah believed the angel's message, while Zechariah did not. Zechariah was punished for his lack of faith by being struck deaf (see Lk 1:62) and dumb (Lk 1:20) during his wife's pregnancy. When Zechariah eventually believed and obeyed God, his tongue was loosed (Lk 1:64), and he then had even more in common with Manoah. Then he too was a man of faith.

Will you be a Manoah or a Zechariah this Christmas? Will you be an early Zechariah or a late one? Will you live "a life of faith" (Gal 2:20) or suffer the second death? (Rv 20:14)

Prayer:  Father, give me faith by hearing You. Give me hearing by Your Word (Rm 10:17).

Promise:  "God Himself will go before him, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the rebellious to the wisdom of the just, and to prepare for the Lord a people well-disposed." —Lk 1:17

Praise:  "O come now, Rod of Jesse's stem, from every foe deliver them!"

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Pride and Faith on audio AV 64-1 or video V-64.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011

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