This Week's Story

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A happy old childless couple receive an unbelievable promise.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Zechariah: a speechless husband! part one

I was happy, when I married Zechariah. Twenty months later my arms felt empty. For me it was a new sensation and made me curious. My heart told me, “I want a baby.” Even when my arms were at my side, I felt them cradle our baby. My desire for a baby wasn’t to uphold our family honor, because I was expected to have children. It was something else. Time passed and no baby came to my arms. What was wrong? Couldn’t I have a baby?

Years went by and Zechariah and I had no children. We were old. Our friends were grandparents. Our family was disappointed and the townspeople were sorry for us.

Zechariah never talked about our loss, but I wondered what he felt. Did his fingers want to pat our son’s head as he taught him? Did he see himself smiling at a little daughter? Whatever his feelings were, he faithfully worked as a priest and was loving to me.

Then there came a momentous two weeks for Zechariah. He was chosen by lot to serve in the Holy Place in our Jewish temple in

Jerusalem. This was a sacred privilege that no priest could hope for more than once in his lifetime. I expected Zechariah to come home each day filled with joy. Instead one day he came home speechless. He would or could not talk. “Zechariah,” I asked, “were you hurt?”

He shook his head for “No.”

“Can you hear me?”

He shook his head for “Yes.”

“Why won’t you talk to me?”

Emotion twisted his face, but no words came from his mouth. I knew he could not write a message to me, because I cannot read.

I wish I was born during the time of King David. Hebrew women then had rights for education, work inside and outside the home, and could earn and spend money. Fortunately, my husband and I agree that we want to honor God in all we do. Peace is in our home.

So, I had to wait until Zechariah wrote what had happened to him and it was explained to me.

That day as Zechariah was in the Holy Place, he sprinkled incense on burning coals on the golden altar. A great crowd of people stood outside praying. As smoke rose into the sky, everyone smelled a fragrant aroma from the incense. It was a symbol to remind us that God wanted His people to talk to Him, obey and honor Him.

As Zechariah stood by the altar, an angel joined him. Some people called it a vision. My husband wrote, “I saw an angel and was terrified.”

The angel saw Zechariah’s fear and said, “Do not be afraid! God has heard you and your wife Elizabeth ask for a child. You will have a son! Name him John. His birth will give joy. He will be great in the eyes of God.

“Do not allow your son to drink wine or hard liquor. Even before he is born, God’s spirit will be working in him. He will convince many people that they should turn to God. His spirit and power will be like the prophet Elijah’s and he will prepare people for the Lord.”

Zechariah protested, “How can I know this? My wife and I are too old to have children.”

This is Barbara Steiner. I will soon bring the visitor’s answer.

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