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Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
May 24, 2021 12:00 am


Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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May 24, 2021 12:00 am

The Christmas story is full of singing. From Mary to Zechariah, to the angels themselves, songs and hymns of praise echo throughout heaven, heralding the coming of the Messiah on earth. Today, let's explore the meaning and impact of one of these songs. What caused a lowly, faithful priest to explode into heavenly, prophetic singing? Join us today to discover Zechariah's song.

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Leak yet very realistic description of the human race throughout human history living in darkness and despair facing inevitable death and judgment. Unable to seize all the any kind of inner peace and satisfaction. The world is being described here in this song very realistic way. Darkness and despair but the sun runs is about Mary and Zechariah the Angels themselves. Songs and hymns of praise echo throughout music heralds the coming of the Messiah on earth and today were going to explore the meaning and impact of one of those songs.

What caused a lowly faithful priest to burst forth in heavenly prophetic singing will stay with us as Steven David explores Zechariah's song here on wisdom for the heart were in a series called good news of great joy, and it comes from Luke one through three.

If I get take you back in time to some rather difficult days for a rather aged and for the most part many thought finished composer recently suffered a stroke whose health was broken by an anxious and difficult season. The stroke that paralyzed the left side of his face, causing intense pain one night in 1741. He was rather depressed. He couldn't sleep the went out on the streets around his neighborhood just walking.

He eventually rather frustrated return to his home where an envelope. It been dropped off by friend. The friend, it wanted to encourage him and had simply copied off a number of texts of Scripture and just stuff them in the envelope.

He read through them somewhat disinterested, then toss them aside and crawled into bed but couldn't sleep. Some of the phrases he read kept coming back to his mind like the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. George Handel got up from bed and went to his piano and for the next 24 days without stopping composed stringing one of those passages after another hardly stopping to eat or sleep refusing any company to finally, a friend managed the end of 24 days to get inside the apartment. We found George just wrapping it up surrounded by sheets of music everywhere on the piano bench the floor around him.

53 movements in all with a friend walked in. There were tears coursing down the cheeks of George Handel who looked up at his friend and said and I quote, I do believe I have seen the greatness of God and his composition we know as the hallelujah chorus or the Messiah was completed, I thought about that because of them studying this scene before us.

In Luke's gospel mindful of the fact that for 400 years in Israel's history there has been really nothing to sing about the days of grown dark, despairing, following the prophecy of Malachi between Malachi and the opening of the gospel account. There has been no word from God.

No profit from God. No music composed by the people of God. It's been what we call now before hundred years of silence within the most amazing things begin to happen, we began exploring them together. Angel sightings supernatural events, mystifying conceptions, surprising joy and music is being composed again and then frankly from the most unlikely places in one village overrun by garrison of Roman soldiers renowned in that area was Nazareth for its immorality.

And yet you have a teenage girl was composing a song rich with Old Testament passages she'd evidently memorized and she sings of God, her Savior in relation to her virgin conception as Luke's Gospel opens just in the first two chapters you have one song after another, as many as five.

I mean the music has begun once again in the theme running throughout the mall is one of joy. I like to think of it as the chorus of the hallelujahs is being heard again throughout the land. Following Mary's song, there's this old priest well past his prime. We been introduced to already. He's had a surprising visit from Gabriel, his elderly wife in her late 70s early 80s as we put the clues together is expecting they live out of the country once again God in his sovereign plan is just sort of bypassing all the movers and shakers of the world pass the religious pomp and ceremony, and two out to a young girl and in Nazareth, to an old priest out of the country delivering the news of the coming Messiah that he's going to compose a song of his own.

And that's a regular pick up our storyline the narrative.

So if you go back to Luke's gospel in chapter 1, it's 80 verses long. By the way, this could take a long time but were getting through it in just three sermons, such that this is your Christmas miracle so worried. Chapter 1. Now in verse 57. If you look there we go now to the home of Elizabeth the elderly wife of Zechariah at the time came for Elizabeth to give birth and she bore a son and her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord is showing great mercy to her and they rejoiced with her and her saying hallelujah to and on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child as was customary. According to the law.

This is the side of the covenant, the mark of a Jewish male special signs of the Israelite nation.

This is going to give John the baby the necessary credentials as an Israelite prophet told here that everybody shall not, for the ceremony this time of celebration, which traditionally included on this eighth day the naming of the boy and its customary dyadic time to name son after his father or grandfather, especially in in the nation, especially if this was a highly esteemed father or at a highly esteemed of a grandfather and maybe a pre-star or rabbi and in and who would've been more highly esteemed then a faithful priest of many decades, who happened to have an angel visit him while in the holy place burning incense to God that the Messiah is on his way so that anybody's going to be named after the father. It's going to be this boy, this quiz is destined to be. Zechariah Junior right that notice the family drama the tuna breakout. If you have your your Bibles.

At first, one of 59. It tells us that they that is all of the neighbors and all of the relatives to gather they would've called him Zachariah after his father Zechariah Junior but his mother answered no, he shall be called John and they said to her is called by this name is the biblical way of saying are you crazy you are, your mind, you know what is in your family name John John come from. There's nothing in John that even sounds like Zachariah the neighbors are the family.

I wonder who gave the neighbors the right to vote here but they're all gathered around Elizabeth, I see your uncles and aunts, uncle Henry and Merle all the cousins gotta be Zachariah.

She said no John she's refusing to botch it in Zachariah to make it speak what he's doing. Probably hiding, but he can't talk at event decant here because of the disciplining hand of God for his earlier unbelief. So here's Elizabeth absolutely outnumbered and I move.

This is a is a firecracker of a woman here in spite of the entire family to tangle with me, even though an 80-year-old new mother love. This love this woman why she she's learned earlier. Evidently obviously, her husband probably wrote it all out for her. Over the course of these nine months. Gabriel arrived, Gabriel said God's chosen the name and the name is John. John means God is gracious.

This is a message to the nation's ministry isn't just going to be a message of repentance. But it's going to be a message at God hasn't kicked you to the car.

God is a God of grace, get ready for the Messiah. There there convinced that she that she had stepped out a line here and and we know that because of what they do next for 62 they go to Zachariah notice and they made signs to the father. His father memory can speaker here so Megan signs inquiring what he wanted him to be called so obviously Elizabeth wants to be made.

Name John visiting for rhyme with anything the family name so obviously she's not online so now, sir, what should he be named and noticed he asked for a writing tablet and wrote his name is John. It's already saddled with that statement by Zachariah of obedience and humility. God re-opens his mouth, his ears and immediately begins to speak. The narrative doesn't include all the details but with what happens next. It's obvious that he, he lays it all out talks about Gabriel in the holy place. He he just goes to the whole wonderful narrative of of what happened in and I love what happens next for 65 it reads, and fear came on all their neighbors to love that at the last time there ever going to try to name somebody else's baby fear fell on the ball was actually the word is translated Austro awestruck get Edward wonder there there there for older with a sense of all is Zachariah no doubt tells them all that is happened there, filled with all they are, we would say completely blown away. Their minds are with this this this account of Zechariah's encounter with Gabriel.

This supernatural work where this late 70s early 80s-year-old woman conceives, and these two have a baby tell you there completely wiped messianic music now is also going to be heard from this home because Zachariah is been composing his own song his own hallelujah chorus. It's loaded with Old Testament passages and allusions. Some scholars believe it contains at least 33 allusions to the Old Testament text and he begins to sing now that singing would sound more like chanting than that a rabbinical or priestly style.

This is his chanting. These spirit inspired lyrics now want to look at it with you rather quickly. There are several stanzas in this composition depending on how the hymn is outlined on a break it down into three stanzas not four because it were for. We had to skip the third stanza you only sing the first second and fourth of the church right so only three here for us to look will call the first stanza the prophecy of Zechariah about God's salvation for 68 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 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. The oath that he swore to our father Abraham to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. That's one sentence has a first stanza. I do know in Zachariah breeze here is chanting incredibly loaded stanza and by the way, you might've noticed you might circle in your text. If you go back to the root to the to the first few lines that he singing about events as if they are already past tense notice he has visited us.

I had been been born yet. He has redeemed us here has raised up a horn of salvation. These are called prophetic past tense verbs. He singing about the future as if it's already happened as if it's already in the history books it's it's as good as done. That's the idea is guaranteed. John is saying about it as it is already happened. Stanza number two you'll notice Zechariah turns his attention directly to his newborn son and sings to him what tender moment. This is this is the prophecy of Zechariah about the ministry of his son notice for 76 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 and the forgiveness of their sin because of the tender mercy of our God. Now you know… Not race through it. Think about it.

Imagine the scene there'd been a prophet for 400 years and now Zachariah is holding the Matt not a word from God. Until these days he's holding a prophet, the prophet of God, he sings directly to him and you child prophet of the most you use you to prepare the way for the one to come. I can't help but believe that Zachariah is interrupting this stanza with tear of joy from basement Elizabeth that even some of those nosy neighbors. This is quite a scene that was ministry as described.

You notice here is one of preparing the way that expression is rooted in history were good roads he's talking about preparing the road to Rosemont.

The norm. Most roads were simply tracks across fields, dirt roads turned to mud, leading into towns and three towns carts their wheels often mired down stock.

However, if the king were traveling to a town if royalty was on its way. They would all spring into action and an they would level that track they would drain it.

They would even raise it and pave it with stone pavers for that royal carriage early in the Roman Empire. Those raised roads that were paved with stone pavers were higher than the byways or the bridal ways. They called it. They were called the high ways they were calling them highways long before we were calling them highways and that allowed for easy clean access and we we take for granted today.

Weevil frustrated when it imperfectly paved that they haven't widened Holly Springs or try on some of those critical arteries and by the way there, just a mile from my home III can drive by and see where they are level that they've cleared up there putting on a portion of Interstate 540 that loop which is given the absolutely fantastic if they finish it before the rapture.

I like them too so I could enjoy a little bit of it but I can hop on. I would be able to hop on it right there and not in 30 minutes but in 15 minutes on me will swing up and around to the airport exit thing to take me 30 minutes to take me 15 minutes to take that exit. Turn left and pull in the Cracker Barrel that's can be fantastic.

15 minutes like a good room.

John being in in construction. He's in the spiritual road construction. He's he's preparing the road as it were, for the king is on his way. John is going to build a highway with his preaching for the Messiah to effectively ride into the hearts of the one who will believe he's got to pay for repentance is coming getting ready and then he announces his.

With that in mind. Zechariah is final stanza describes this Messiah's ministry notice for 70 the prophecy of Zechariah about coming sunrise to sunrise. Love that expression of the Messiah circle 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.

So what will the Savior do all of the Messiah do is going to release those captured in darkness. He's going to rescue those facing inevitable death and judgment.

He's going to give you inner peace to those who have none in this bleak yet very realistic description of the human race throughout human history living in darkness and despair facing inevitable death and judgment. Unable to seize all log any kind of inner peace and satisfaction. The world is being described here in this song very realistic way. Darkness and despair but but the sunrise is about the brain into this despairing world sunrise from on high is on his way by the way, you can take that notation of light through the Bible. I give you just a couple of references. Second Peter 119 with the apostle Peter wrote that Jesus Christ was like the day dawning and rising in our heart. Great expression. John, in Revelation 2216 called him the bright and morning what star were very familiar with that one. In Colossians 113. Salvation is described as being rescued from the power of darkness and being brought into the kingdom of his beloved son rescued from the kingdom of darkness brought into the kingdom of light in our mission as believers is to do what to declare the praises of him who has called us out of darkness and into this marvelous light. First Peter 29 and then we as believers the redeemed are given a promise that in the end, and the consummation and the eternal state of heaven we the redeemed will actually shine with the brilliant light like the sun. Matthew 1343 John's Gospel of course opened by giving us the three reactions to the dawning of the sun same 3 Reactions Are Taking Pl. today in our world around us. There are those who won't recognize him when recognize three wives get off the highway going to buy we get on the dirt path you're not royalty. We never seen God, but we did, you wouldn't be here, the son of a carpenter born in fornication.

There are those to this day, who will reject him. John writes he came in it was over his own did not receive them to go out there in the world today as people I would like to live forever young man I would sign me up how to do what asked him if they'd like to live without sickness, pain and sorrow makes a yes estimate they like to live in a beautiful paradise. In most religion to figure out a way to get their mates. They will absolutely want to live in a beautiful paradise forever. Ask them to be willing to follow Jesus. What now I want all that other stuff on him if he's part of the deal. Nevermind rejecting summary.

Then there are those thirdly who recognize him for who he is, instead of rejecting him, receive him. John writes in verse 12 of that chapter and those who do given the right to become children of God freed from the kingdom of darkness brought into the kingdom of light. 11.

We have every reason to keep saying I will George handle take this song of prophecy from Zechariah.

I say these other passages and turn it into music this passage right here describing the ministry of the Messiah, he would turn in the song, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light son. No wonder the redeemed soon. I will, I hope this time in God's word has encouraged you today.

As we've explored Zechariah's song from the Gospel of Luke. It's Stephen's desire to help you grow in your faith and learn to apply God's word to your life. Here's how one listener described it. I been listening to wisdom for the heart since 2015, and I receive your magazine every month.

The gospel is made clear through the preaching of Pastor Davey. I'm amazed at the peace that fills my mind as the program goes off in my day begins. That came from Thomas in my home state of Michigan. By the way, the magazine that Thomas mentioned is a resource that we send as a gift to all of our wisdom partners, we be happy to send you the next three issues for you to read and enjoy our number is 86 648 Bible or 866-482-4253. Thanks again for joining us. Please make plans to be back next time on wisdom

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