"And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time."
Poor Zechariah. He was righteous, walking blamelessly before God, but God was doing something so incredible, he just could not wrap his head around it. If not for God's persistant plan (and an outpouring of grace to give Zechariah what he needed to keep him headed the right direction), he would have totally missed the boat.
God is doing something great among the Dong people. He has promised to bring the chosen from every people before his throne to worship him. Let us not only believe what he is going to do, but speak up for the Dong people in prayer now, before the ability to speak is taken away as it was for Zechariah.
Let us sing glory to God in faith of what he will do, like Mary who was blessed because she "believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord" (v45). She knew, from her own experience, "that God has filled the hungry with good things" (v53), and that he was going to use this little boy, Jesus, to fill the rest of the world's hungry, especially the poor and hungry in spirit.
Let us take Zechariah's lesson to heart.
Let us pray out glory to God now, for if we wait till he has already done it, it is no longer a glorifying prayer of faith. He is going to accomplish wonderful things among the Dong people, and Zechariah's prayer at the end of Luke chapter one is a statement of what he and we know to be true:
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David" (v68-69)
And just as we have been given the authority to do the works of Christ, and even greater works, we have been christened prophets of the Most High, called to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, as it says here:
"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace" (v76-79).