A woman must not wear men’s clothing, and a man must not wear women’s clothing, for whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD your God.
-Deuteronomy 22:5, BSB
God created both genders very special, but Satan wants to mar what is good in God’s eyes into something sinful. Men and women have special qualities that set them apart for God’s use. For a man to wear women’s garments and a woman to wear men’s garments won’t change whom God created them to be. It will only confuse them further and cause them to become depraved.
If you are a man or a woman and are wearing clothes of the opposite sex, you have become detestable in God’s eyes. Only repentance and obedience to God’s Word can make you right with the Lord God.
[Luke 1:16] “16 He will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God.”
John the Baptist was the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3-4, which says, “3 A voice of one crying out: Prepare the way of the LORD in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert. 4 Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill will be leveled; the uneven ground will become smooth and the rough places, a plain. 5 And the glory of the LORD will appear, and all humanity together will see it, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
John came, in the ministry of Elijah to make the people’s hearts ready for Christ. He was called the Baptist or the baptizer because through that, the people were renewing their commitment to God.
5 Look, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome Day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
Jesus always wants to bless His children, but if we are not right with Him, He cannot. So before Jesus comes with a blessing for us, He makes sure, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit to make us right with Him by obeying His Word.
[Luke 1:17] “17 And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.”
See verse 16.
Elijah, by the power of God, stopped the rain from falling upon the earth in northern Israel for 3 1/2 years, causing famine. God was punishing His people for worshiping idols and demons. God used Elijah to destroy the prophets of Baal, to bring the people back to the true God. The prophet was sent to provide for a widow in Zarephath and to raise from the dead her son who ended up dying from an illness while he was there.
[Luke 1:18] “18 “How can I know this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “For I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.”
Zechariah was the opposite of Mary when the angel came to her to reveal God’s will for her life. Mary had a strong faith and believed the angel’s message, while Zechariah’s faith fluctuated. He should have known about Abraham who was in the same situation and God came through for him by giving him a son in his old age.
[Luke 1:19] “19 The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and tell you this good news.”
The angel revealed his name to Zechariah as Gabriel, which means “man of God.” Gabriel has a high rank in the angelic realm since he stands in the throne of the Living God. This is seen by the missions he is assigned by God to accomplish like announcing the birth of the Messiah, and John, who will pave the way for the LORD’s arrival.
“Good news” It refers to God’s redemptive plan for mankind through Jesus’ sacrificial death, for the sins of the world, and His resurrection.
[Luke 1:20] “20 Now listen! You will become silent and unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
Zechariah’s lack of faith caused him to be mute for months, showing that God was displeased with him for not believing in His Word through His angel.
When God speaks to us about something that He will accomplish in our lives and a lack of trust in His Word arises in our hearts, instead of the blessing, a punishment will come. Through the punishment, we will learn that God’s Word and His promises can always be trusted so that we may learn not to be faithless.
[Luke 1:6] “6 Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord.”
Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were faithful to God’s Word by keeping the law and obeying it.
[Luke 1:7] “7 But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive, and both of them were well along in years.”
It shadows Abraham and Sarah, who was barren, and both were very old. God works through the impossible, to show His hand in the promise that He gives to those who are faithful. The promise through Abraham’s seed, Isaac who through him, the Messiah would come. With the son of Zechariah, John the Baptist, he would pave the way for the Messiah.
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he answered.
10 The Lord said, “I will certainly come back to you in about a year’s time, and your wife Sarah will have a son!” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.
11 Abraham and Sarah were old and getting on in years. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 So she laughed to herself: “After I have become shriveled up and my lord is old, will I have delight?”
[Luke 1:8] “8 When his division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,”
A priest’s duty is to pray for God’s people and to present sacrifices for their sins to be forgiven [Hebrews 7:27]. When we are busy with God’s work, He will speak with us, see verse 11.
[Luke 1:9] “9 it happened that he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense.
“chosen by lot” In Proverbs 16:33, it says, “The lot is cast into the lap,but its every decision is from the LORD.” It wasn’t by chance that he was chosen by lot to be at the temple, but God wanted him to be there so that his mind-set was on the things of the LORD. In the Old Testament, God always spoke to His priests in the temple, to show that God was among His people, and also that He speaks to those who serve Him.
Today, if you have the Spirit of God dwelling inside you, you are the temple of the Living God, and God will always speak to your spirit.
[Luke 1:10] “10 At the hour of incense the whole assembly of the people was praying outside.
“At the hour of incense” Incense represents the prayers of the saints.
May my prayer be set before You as incense, the raising of my hands as the evening offering.
The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up in the presence of God from the angel’s hand.
To be in prayer, is to be in the presence of the LORD, and not only are we speaking to the LORD, but He will also speak with us.