Advent Scripture Calendar

25) To rescue us from the hand of our enemies

Rev Henk Poot - 22 December 2021
Wednesday 22 December  

Luke 1:57-80

‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel’
Luke 1:68

There was a time when I found it difficult to preach on Zechariah’s Song. For some reason, it was a little distant. Fortunately, there was verse 77. It is about the knowledge of salvation and forgiveness of sins. And that verse will probably be read most often during the days of Advent.

Certain people thought that Zechariah, Mary and Simeon had a wrong image of Jesus, at least of what He would do. That perhaps they were thinking too earthly and too nationalistic, too Jewish, about the Messiah. That Jesus would liberate Israel from all enemies and thus redeem the Jewish people from all hatred and antisemitism. And these people attempted to read the words differently, tried to give them a spiritual twist, as it is called. After all, they said, Zechariah and the Jews of his day still had much to learn and even more they had to discard what they previously learned.

However, it says that when Zechariah begins to praise God, he is filled with the Holy Spirit. He is not just singing from his old thinking and ideas. The Spirit of God puts these words into his mouth. It is true what it says. Literally true. I, not he, had much to learn and much more to discard what I previously learned.

Jesus will truly deliver Israel from his enemies and from all the people who hate the Jews. The Bible is not always about me.

Lord God, will you help us to make sure that when we read the Bible in these days, we leave it as it is. Help us to literally expect what you promise, to Your people Israel and to us. Guide us in our reading by Your Holy Spirit.

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