category: Advent

Advent Reflection: Day 14

Saturday, December 11

Amos 9:8–15; Luke 1:57–66

When we follow the path that God has designed for us, He will build cities of prosperity around our lives. In Amos 9:8-15, it is said that God will take the House of Israel and shake it. He will shake it in the way that one would shake flour through a sifter. In these verses, God is displeased but He claims that He will not destroy the city; He will only take it and sift out those who bring evil among His people. On that same day, God promises to restore the Kingdom of David, creating a place where believers will prosper. When we move into Luke 1:57-66, we are witnessing the God who raised up David’s Kingdom and brought forth John the Baptist as well, the same God who allows John’s father, Zechariah, to speak. In these verses, we are watching Zechariah name his child through the will of the Lord instead of what was customary for the time. Traditionally, when new baby boys were born, they became their father’s namesake. When the name of the newborn child was questioned, Zechariah wrote the chosen name on a tablet. His name was John. This is not a simple naming of a child. Choosing to name their son John was an example of Zechariah and Elizabeth taking heart and following the path that God has made, not only for their lives, but their son’s life as well. Upon pronouncing John’s name, Zechariah is able to speak and proclaim the glory of the Lord.

In this season of Advent, let us look at these verses as evidence of God beginning to fulfill His promise to the world. Jesus was placed on Earth to be the embodiment of God, hope and love within earthly flesh. These are the beginning pathways for Jesus to walk among us. God restores the Kingdom of David so that Jesus would inherit it. He proved his faithfulness to Zechariah and Elizabeth so that they would know the glory of the Lord before Jesus ever took His first breath. Both of these passages artfully exemplify that the path of the Lord is steady and rewarding. God will restore our faith, our hearts, and our villages. He will open our mouths to be able to sing His praises. Through these passages, we see that God’s plan for our lives is so much more than death and destruction. God’s plan for our lives is woven beautifully, exemplified by the coming of Jesus, and is full of abundant mercy and grace. When we come to God in our brokenness, He is prepared to restore us to our factory settings, as well as bring us into the joys of our best selves. In a sense, we are the city, and we are Zechariah. God is shaking the evil from us, and once we follow His chosen path for our lives, He will open our mouths to speak praises of His name.

Lindsay Gardner
School of Divinity Student

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