“People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
The first time I read Luke 1:5-35, it looked like God had a double standard; one for Zechariah and another for Mary. The angel told Zechariah he and his elderly wife would produce a child. Zechariah responded with a question and a factual statement: “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years (Luke 1:18). The angel responded with an invisible muzzle of sorts that left the priest mute for about nine months.
The same angel came to Mary with news harder to believe than old folks having a baby: she, a virgin, would bear a Child. Didn’t she do the same as Zechariah- ask a question followed by a factual statement? She inquired, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” Gabriel responded with an explanation and clarification. No fair! Right?
We are wise to look at the business between God and these two people with respect for God’s verdict; recognizing His omniscience and our lack of it. The missing ingredient in Zachariah’s question and heart was faith that God’s message was true. We humans can see the outward evidence of faith by a person’s actions, but faith itself is invisible to the naked eye of everyone but God. We must view His response to these two people with the understanding that we never have enough information to declare God unfair. The same is true with any of life’s circumstances where we think God should’ve prevented this or He should have intervened in that. God knows what He’s doing. His unfathomable generosity in giving His Son should silence any doubts about His motives toward us and should make trusting Him a reasonable response when circumstances seem unreasonable. Humility and trust are the bifocals through which to view what we don’t understand. Are you wearing yours today?