News & Events
- June 1, 2016
- Posted by: Carolyn Mahal
- Category: Devotions
There are definitely times in life when we find ourselves speechless. Guys, remember that moment when you were standing in the front of the church and as you gazed down the aisle you saw your soon to be wife standing there in her wedding dress? The beauty of that moment: music, flowers, a church filled with family and friends and the woman you love looking radiant – mere words could never suffice. Unfortunately, years later many men find themselves in hundreds of dissimilar positions where speechlessness would have served them very well. Marriage has a way of providing recurring evidence of Solomon’s wisdom who wrote in Proverbs 17:28, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”
It’s an interesting irony – those people who learn multiple languages are often considered intelligent while those who struggle to speak are commonly (but unfairly) labeled as dumb. This leads to yet another, more interesting irony. Would a person who knows three languages and is struggling to learn the fourth be considered intelligent or dumb if they were stuck with their weakest language? All of the wisdom that they possess in Italian, German, and Spanish wouldn’t help make their case as they struggled to speak in English. This may speak to the shortsightedness of people who make judgments based on superficial things, but it also drives home a point to the importance of being able to speak clearly so that your ideas are heard, and valued.
Zechariah was a priest, an important man within Jewish society. However, he and his wife Elizabeth were never able to have children, something which apparently gave some people reason to look down upon them (Luke 1:25). While serving in the temple, the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to tell him of Elizabeth’s coming pregnancy and the birth of a son whom he is to name John. Now because Zechariah and Elizabeth were both beyond their childbearing years, Zechariah questioned how this could ever happen, earning him a timeout from speaking until after the child was born. All of this happened inside of the temple without witnesses, so imagine the scene when he walked out and was suddenly unable to talk. I am sure there were more than a few theories as to what happened on that day. But as the days rolled on, Gabriel’s announcement proved to be true. Elizabeth did in fact conceive and later gave birth to a son, and in that moment when Zechariah was confirming that the child’s name would be John, his tongue was loosened and he once again could speak. After months of silence and using a writing tablet and gestures to communicate, the first thing Zechariah chose to use his rediscovered voice to do was to praise God – proof that men can in fact be taught!
Our voices are very different. Some speak soft and gentle words of encouragement. Some are loud and proclaim their messages boldly. Still others convey their messages with song or poetry and all in one of the hundreds of languages spoken throughout the world. But in all places, at all times, and in every circumstance our voices were designed to do exactly what Zechariah’s did – speak the joy-filled praises of our one true God. May His love be present in every word you speak that it may accomplish what God has sent it forth to do.
Devotion by Richard Schumacher
LSEM Director of Programs & Services