The joy of a father is expressed here in this short section of scripture. Zechariah had been unable to speak for the duration of Elizabeth's pregnancy, and his response when his is free to speak is song. This is more than a father beaming about how great his son will be, this is the profound utterance of a man of God realizing that his child is hand picked by God for very important work in the plan of salvation. I am sure during his silence there was an abundance of time for Zechariah to reflect and listen for God. The day of his son's dedication was more than proud father, is about a follower of the Almighty realizing what God was doing through him in the his midst.
Paul speaks of the great mystery that God has been engaged in throughout history. That mystery become known in Jesus Christ. Why did God choose to reveal the mystery in Christ? So we can brag about knowing Christ and separate ourselves from those who do not follow Christ? No, so that we, the church, might fulfill the call of God in this broken world. That the kingdom of God would be embodied by the community of believers. It is through Christ we become part of the revealed mystery. It is also through Christ we are able to access God in boldness and confidence of faith.
The writer of the Psalms continues to work on the theme of how important it is to know the precepts or statutes of God. The way we know these things is to dig into Scripture. When we are not focused on the scriptures and learn who God is and who we are called to be, we have a high tendency to wander from the path of faith. Some portions of scripture seem difficult to have a hunger for as they are challenging both to read and understand. However, if we ask God for a hunger, and we commit ourselves to the discipline of the scriptures, I believe God gives a longing for the scriptures.
1 Kings 8
Here we have the lengthy description of the dedication of the temple Solomon built for the Lord. As I read through all the details of Solomon begging God to be pleased with his work I cannot help to think about all the times when I act and ask God to bless what I have done. It seems to be there might be a little more wisdom in seeking what God is blessing and do that the asking God to bless what we have already done. Solomon put a heavy tax on the people to build the temple, along with forced labor to make it happen. From the description we get in several places the temple was quite a place to behold. Over and over we find Solomon begging God to be pleased with the work he had done. It is almost impossible for me to read the words of Solomon here without wonder how much of this is Solomon's great hope and how much of it was the leading of God? We shall see in the coming chapters as we look at Solomon's life that the teachings and promises of God are not always what Solomon follows.
Lord, may we not commit the folly of asking you to bless what we have already done. May we seek you and do what it is you are blessing. You are the leader and perfecter, not us. We submit to your leadership. In Jesus Name, Amen.