In the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. They were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they both were now well advanced in years.
Now while he served as priest before God, when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole crowd of people were praying outside at the hour of incense.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not fear, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. He will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man and my wife well advanced in years."
The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. And I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things happen, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their season."
The people waited for Zechariah, and wondered why he waited so long in the temple. When he came out, he could not speak to them. They perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he made signs to them and remained speechless.
As soon as the days of his service were fulfilled, he departed to his own home. After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, "Thus the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among men" (Luke 1:5-25).
Investors, news reporters, sports bettors, political pollsters, weather forecasters, marketing gurus and nearly everyone else wishes they could predict the future. Yet, no matter how hard we try, we never really know what tomorrow holds.
What things in the future are you trying to predict and prepare for?
You cannot know the future, but you can know the God who does. The one true God knows tomorrow and every day after that. The same God who knows the future also rules over the future, and when He reveals it to us, it is called prophecy. This makes the Bible unlike any other religious text because it alone is the book that God wrote revealing the future that only God knows.
All of human history is ultimately about Jesus. And the story of Jesus' life on earth begins with a prophecy.
How can truly believing that God knows your future help you live a more emotionally healthy and less fearful life?
Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor and the author of many books, including Spirit-Filled Jesus, which you can order here. He currently pastors The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family. For all of pastor Mark Driscoll's Bible teaching, please visit markdriscoll.org or download the app. You can download a free devotional e-book from pastor Mark here.
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