Blog friends – I am jumping ahead in our Chronological Bible reading because I am working on a project and need devotions from later in the year. You could really help me out by letting me know if these engage you, challenge you, help the Scriptures come alive for you… Thanks! Blessings, Denise
“One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the LORD and burn incense.” (Luke 1:8-9)
It was Zechariah’s turn to serve as the Temple priest. This didn’t happen very often. In fact, it is possible that this was the first and only time Zechariah ever served. There were historically 24 divisions of priests. The division of priests selected to serve during that time had been chosen by sacred lot and then the priest who actually served in the Temple was chosen by sacred lot – something akin to drawing the short straw.
The use of sacred lots in decision-making was the ancient way of ensuring that the decision was God’s and not man’s. For example: The land given to each of the Israelite tribes as they entered their promised land was determined by lot (Num 26), Saul became King by casting of lots (1 Sam 10:19), and the practice of the priests drawing lots to determine who would serve in the Temple, “so that no preference would be shown…” came into being during David’s reign (1 Chr 24:5).
Luke makes a point of saying that Zechariah is chosen by lot because God wants us to know that He chose righteous Zechariah to be the priest on duty in the Temple at that time. According to God, Zechariah was the perfect choice for the task He was about to assign.
Sometimes we struggle with believing that God can or will choose us. We think we are too old or too young or not educated enough. There are myriad reasons why we believe we cannot be the one chosen by God to accomplish His purpose. We convince ourselves that we cannot be the perfect choice. Zechariah teaches us differently.
He and his wife are old. Way past having children, yet God chooses them to be the parents of John the Baptist. God is not confined by what we consider to be limitations.
Zechariah voices his doubt about God’s choice of him and his wife. God still chooses him. Have you ever done that? Doubted that God knew what He was doing when He picked you? Zechariah left the Temple that day mute and with a choice. Would he lean into believing what God said or not? He decided to lean into God despite all of the reasons why it seemed crazy and he slept with his wife. Who, in her old age, became pregnant.
We need to love this story because it is our story. It’s an account of someone chosen despite their “shortcomings”, not assigned because of their strengths. It resonates deep within us the same insecurities we have about being called by God. It tells us that we can voice our doubts. And it tells us that we will witness the miracle when we learn to lean into believing that God has deemed us perfect for whatever task He has given us to do.
We have the same choice to make. Will we believe that God knows what He’s doing when he deems us the perfect choice or not?
What has God chosen you for that you are struggling to believe? Might I encourage you to be like Zechariah and lean into God? Do one thing today that affirms you believe you are the perfect choice because God says you are.