I was at Max’s football game last week in Aberdeen, standing near the sidelines as the last few minutes of the game were ticking off.  The game was close; in fact, it was in doubt until the final few plays.  Aberdeen had the ball and was driving down the field and I said in the hearing of a few other dads pacing the sideline, “I think we might just lose this game.”  You would think I just committed the sin of blasphemy.  “Don’t say that, you’ll curse us!” said one of the dads loudly.  I’m not sure if he had Biblical knowledge of the power to bless and curse, or if he thought it was like a lucky rabbit’s foot, but either way, it reminded me of the power of words.

 

Zacharias and Elizabeth were good Jewish people, in fact, he was a priest.  They were old, past the normal child bearing years, and had been very faithful in the service of their God.  They just had one glaring problem; they were childless.  Barrenness was considered a curse in Jewish culture at that time. He was visited by an angel while serving the Lord in the Holy of Holies.  The angel told him that God had heard his prayers and that they were going to have a son; but because of his and his wife’s old age, he asked for a sign.  The angel gave him one…he made him mute.  You see, his son was to be named John.  John means “the favor of God.”  God was bringing favor to Zacharias and Elizabeth and the angel shut his mouth so that Zacharias wouldn’t talk his way out of a blessing. You and I can talk ourselves right out of the favor of God by things we say.

 

John was to be filled with the Holy Spirit to enable him to prepare the way of the Lord.  It was a picture of the Holy Spirit to be given to all believers to do the same thing; to prepare the way of the Lord in our day.  When Jesus left, He didn’t leave us all alone.  He left us with the Holy Spirit, the one who would guide, direct, and empower us to do the things God has meant for us to do.  The Holy Spirit is the favor of God on your life and mine! We don’t need no stinking lucky rabbit’s foot.