Q is for Questions
And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” Luke 1:18
Sometimes we ask God questions because we don’t understand how he could do something impossible. Mary asked a question like this because she didn’t know how she could possibly have a baby. At other times we ask questions because it seems difficult and we doubt that God could do it. That was the kind of question that Zechariah asked.
God understood Mary’s confusion and explained to her, through the angel, how she could in fact have a child while being an unmarried virgin. But unlike Mary, Zechariah wasn’t confused; he doubted. Gabriel told Zechariah that he would not be able to speak until the baby was born because he didn’t believe this message, which was from God himself (Luke 1:20).
It is as if Gabriel said the same thing to Zechariah that the prophet Jeremiah said to the people, (Jer. 32:27) Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? The answer is no, nothing is too difficult for God. But Zechariah doubted. He thought it was too hard for God.
God was kind to Zechariah. God could have struck Zechariah down and killed him for his disbelief, but he didn’t. 10 months without talking isn’t that bad compared to what could have happened. Zechariah wasn’t bitter or angry about it, he knew he deserved that punishment from God. And when his tongue was loosed he praised God for his graciousness. Questions are good, if they lead us to greater trust in God.