4 . 5 . 2020
Perhaps almost four hundred years had passed since Malachi laid down his pen and the voice of God and communication from God was seldom heard and little known.
Despite this, Luke presents in his earliest of chapters three couples linked together:
Zacharias and Elizabeth - a married couple
Mary and Joseph - soon to be married
Simeon and Anna -not linked in marriage
In the first couple God demonstrates he has preserved the Priestly line.
In the second couple God demonstrates he has preserved the Kingly line.
In the third couple God demonstrates he has preserved the line of the Prophets which although was not a blood line was the line of divine communication.
For the first two couples there was the beginning of new life, two children would be born
For the third couple, at least for Simeon it was to signal the end of life, he was at this point content to depart having seen Gods salvation.
God is therefore the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
For Zacharias it was a surprising revelation, “Thy prayer was heard” He obviously thought his prayer hadn’t been answered but there was a matter which proceeded prayer being answered, it was prayer being heard.
Not all prayer is heard. David said “If I regard iniquity in my heart The Lord will not hear me; Psalm 66 v 18. Moffat translates this “Had I been thinking secretly of sin, the Lord would never have listened to me”
What then is the value of prayer heard ?
1 John 5 v 14, This is the confidence ( fourth time in the epistle John speaks of our confidence) that we have in him that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us“
The contrast with Psalm 66 is therefore clear, we ask not out of sinful intent but rather out of the knowledge and enjoyment of his will and the result is found in 1 John 5 v 15 “And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him”.
The poet has wisely penned the words:
Not my will but thine be done O Lord
If I ask for things that I should not ask for
If I pray for things selfishly
If I ask for myself not regarding another
Lift the scales from mine eyes let me see.