Greetings friends and new listeners and welcome to The Sound of Faith. I'm Sharon Knotts thanking you for joining us today because we know faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Today's message, Don't Make Your Angel Mad When God Answers Your Prayers.
If past disappointments have calloused your heart with unbelief in Don't Make Your Angel Mad When God Answers Your Prayers. Today's message is a promise of a great miracle, but one was looking in the natural and the other accepted the Word of the Lord and looked in the Spirit. And if you have your Bibles, turn with me into Luke chapter 1. The last week we ministered on unto them that look for him, shall he appear. And we talked about how that by the time that Jesus was born that there were two very elderly people. One was Simeon and the other was Anna who served in worship in the temple every day. They were old but they were looking for the Messiah. And God had promised Simeon that before you check out of this world you're going to see him with your own eyes.
And he did. He said, my eyes have seen thy Messiah, thy salvation. Amen. And then Anna came in and she also said, this is the one we've been looking for, our redemption. Amen.
So we're going to take the story another step further. And in the book of Luke, let's look at verse 5. It was in the days of Herod the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias of the course of Abia and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God walking in all the commandments and ordinance of the Lord blameless.
And they had no child because then Elizabeth was barren and they were both now well stricken in years. But it came to pass that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot or his turn was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the very time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, fear not Zacharias, for thy prayer is heard.
There are no sweeter words than this, for thy prayer is heard. And thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son and thou shall call his name John and thou shall have joy and gladness and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. And he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
This had never happened before. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedience to the wisdom of the just to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, whereby shall I know this from an old man and my wife is well stricken in years. Zacharias was a priest, as we read here of the Lord.
And if you were to read in First Chronicles 24, you would see that David had set up in the house of the Lord, as well as having singers and instrumentalists and a choir, all of these things that had never existed in the temple before that time. But also the priesthood was set up in a course. And what that meant was they would take turns according to the sons of Aaron.
They fell into various settings and then they would take turns. There were 24 courses in all. And Zachariah was of the course of Abaya, which was the eighth course. And every course would have an opportunity to serve in the temple for one week, twice a year. So they would serve two weeks out of the year, but one week at one time and one week at another time. Abaya's course, they served a week in the month of December and a week in the month of June.
And Zacharias was of the course of Abaya. It was the week of their week in the month of June. And he got the lot or he got the short or straw or the long straw, whichever the case was. It came up, it was his turn to burn incense at the altar. Now, think about this.
He only had two weeks out of the year and it happened to be his turn out of that one week that it came up for him to serve. And while he's serving, an angel shows up at the right side of the altar of incense. Amen. And this angel shows up. And of course, Zacharias' response is typical. As we've said many times, if an angel shows up, even with good news, even with great news, you're going to be afraid.
Your physical body is going to like start trembling and turn to jello. Amen. Even if he's grinning from ear to ear, you're going to start feeling fear come on you because of the awesomeness of their supernatural presence and the effect it would have on the human body.
Amen. And so we find out that Gabriel is the angel and he shows up, we're going to see that in a moment, and he shows up for Zacharias. Now, Zacharias is a righteous man, and we read here that his wife also was righteous. In fact, we read that said they were blameless. Now, that does not mean they were perfect.
And we're going to find that out in a minute. They were perfect. You see, you can be blameless before the Lord because you're walking in the truth and the light that God has given to you, and you're being obedient to what God has said to you and you're obeying. And as far as the law was concerned, they were blameless in that they were walking according to the law. Amen. And sometimes people point their fingers at other people because they're not in their denomination and they're not a Pentecostal and they don't speak in tongues, and they think, oh, well, they can't be saved. They can be very saved in the light that they're in. Now, if they're living in sin, that's another story. Amen. But I'm talking about sometimes we point our fingers at other people and we get this superior attitude and we don't know where they are with the Lord in their heart.
And we don't know what God is, how he's working on them and the light that he's given them. And he's bringing them a little by little, just like any little toddler's got to learn little by little to walk. And they fall down tons of times. My grandson's already been walking now. You know, he's been walking over a month. But you know what? Sometimes he gets like this and down he goes. But you know what?
He's right back up, taken off again. Amen. And that's how it is sometimes in the spirit. And so they were blameless because in God's sight they were righteous in the law of Moses. They weren't born again, of course, but they were righteous according to the law of Moses.
And you know something? There's something about righteousness that gets God's attention. There's something about living right that causes God to smile upon you. I don't mean that you're earning anything with works because he said all your righteousness is a filthy rag. That's what he said through Isaiah chapter 64.
But I'm talking about when you are desiring to please the Lord and walk in the light as he is in the light and walk in the truth, you get God's attention. Amen. I mean, it was God that started that whole scenario with Job. He said to Satan, have you seen my servant Job?
God's the one that started that, not the devil. Amen. He said, have you seen my servant Job? What a righteous and upright man that he is. Amen. And so when God sees that we are striving to obey his word, here's a good verse for you.
I love this. Isaiah 66 2 says, but to this man, this is God speaking in the first person. But to this man will I look even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembles at my word. May I always tremble at the word of God. May I always tremble. May I never be so self-confident, so spiritually smug that I don't tremble at the word of the Lord.
You know, God can convict me very quickly. I never tremble it on the inside. I say something and as soon as I say it, I think I wish I hadn't said that. I'm not talking about cursing. I'm not talking about speaking vulgarity. I mean, just saying that remark, it was not necessary. It wasn't kind.
It wasn't nice. And as soon as I say it, I'm convicted. And you know what?
That's how I want it to be. I want to be convicted. I don't want to throw it off and say, well, I know people are worse than that. I want to say, Lord, I shouldn't have said that. And I'm sorry. Amen.
I want to tremble at the word of God. I want to know that if I'm flirting with sin, if I'm flirting with somebody that's not my mate. And you know, I'm saying this in a generic way. I'm not confessing anything here. I'm way beyond that stuff. I'm saying this for somebody else.
If I am getting too flirtatious with that guy or that girl on the job, I want to start trembling inside of me. Amen. Because God says when I see that person, I look on them and I'm going to have favor to them. I'm going to help them in their weakness.
Amen. So they had God's attention. And now it's his turn.
He must have been really feeling really special anyway. It's his turn now to serve at the altar and burn the incense. And here comes this fearsome angel. And what does he say?
He said, don't be afraid. I have come on a mission. This is mission impossible. But I've come on a mission with a good message for you. And my message to you is your prayer is heard. Your prayer is heard. Hallelujah. God is saying to somebody here today, your prayer is heard. Amen. Now what prayer?
What prayer was heard? Well, we read what the situation is. He's old. His wife is old. And they've never had a child. Now we have to know they had a beautiful marriage. Because the Bible says they were blameless.
Amen. So they had a wonderful marriage. They loved each other. They had spent decades together as husband and wife. And they cared deeply for one another. And they were happy with one another. But there was an empty hole in their hearts.
Because they had never had a child. Amen. And especially we know that with Jewish women, especially not to have a child, to them was a reproach. Amen. Because not only were women that was really their lot in life was to be married and bear children, but it was the hope of every Jewish young woman that when she got married that maybe she would be the mother of the Messiah. Amen.
And so not to have a child for a Jewish woman was a great reproach. That the angel said your prayer was heard. I have to wonder, they've been married a very long time. How many times do you calculate in your imagination had they prayed for a child? Just a couple times? Or a few times?
Maybe a few hundred times? I mean this is something that I could imagine for many years that Elizabeth prayed every day. And that when if Zacharias didn't pray it for her every day, at least on Sabbath, when they would be ready to celebrate the Sabbath meal, he would have laid hands on his wife. And he would have blessed her. And he would have said, Father God, please bless my wife Elizabeth and touch her womb and let her have a child.
There is no telling how many times that he had prayed that prayer countless times. And now after all these years and what could have been hundreds and hundreds of prayers, an angel shows up and said, this is your day. Your prayer is heard.
Amen. Your wife Elizabeth is going to have a child. And not only is she going to have a child, she's going to have a boy. She's going to have a son. And not only is she going to have a son, but she's going to have a special son. He's going to be a prophet of God.
Amen. Oh, and that when he is born, there is going to be joy. You have never had so much joy as that day is going to bring. You are going to laugh.
You're going to have so much happiness and your relatives are going to come to the house and the neighbors are going to come and the people from church are going to come and you're going to have a celebration because it's going to be such a marvelous thing that you and Elizabeth are going to become parents in your old age. Amen. And he said he's going to be great. He's going to be a prophet and not only a prophet, but the prophet. The prophet that will go before the Messiah and say, prepare you the way of the Lord because this is fulfilled in Isaiah 40, the prophecy that God would raise somebody up in the spirit of Elijah, not Elijah reincarnated. No, someone with the same anointing and message of Elijah. Amen.
And go forth to prepare the way of the Lord. Now, the news can't get any better. You're finally going to have a baby. You're going to have a son. He's going to be great. He's going to be a prophet. He's going to be the prophet, the usher in the Messiah.
I mean, how much good news can you get all at one time without bursting? Sounds to me like a replay of Abraham and Sarah. Amen.
Old, barren, years have gone by. Amen. But finally God gave them Isaac, which meant laughter. And boy, did they laugh that day. Amen.
And so it sounds like a replay to me. But what did Zechariah say? Look at verse 18. And whereby shall I know this?
For I'm an old man and my wife well stricken in years. I mean, just the fact that an angel showed up, isn't that enough of a sign? Amen. You see, but more than that, that would seem to be enough of a sign, but we have to be careful because if we become dependent on angels and supernatural signs, and we must always, always confirm it with scripture. And if it confirms with scripture, then we receive that message. And if it doesn't, then we say, well, wait a minute, I need to take this before God.
But think about this. Zechariah had at least three scriptural precedents that he could look to to know that this is what God specializes in doing. He specializes in making the barren womb, amen, bring forth children. Now, Zechariah, at age 13, he would have had his bar mitzvah, which means that he would have known the scriptures. He would have known the old covenant inside and out.
Amen. And not only that, but he went into the priesthood because he was of the sons of Aaron. And so he was a priest. So he would have had even more preparation in the scriptures.
Amen. And he surely, surely would have known about Abraham and Sarah. That's something that every Jewish person knows about because they're the seed of Abraham. And Abraham is the one that God made the covenant with. Amen, for the Jewish people. So they all knew about Isaac's miraculous birth.
They knew that when God first gave that promise to Abraham and Sarah, they were 75 and 65 years old. And I mean, that's already pushing it. I mean, that's pushing it, amen. Especially when you've never had a child anyhow.
And so that's pushing it. But even after God told him that, he waited another 25 years, amen, before this child was born, before they had the manifestation of their prayer. He knew about that miraculous birth and he also knew that they struggled with unbelief. And because of that, they produced an Ishmael. That God never intended. Ishmael wasn't supposed to be in the picture. And a lot of Israel's problems to this day, stem from Ishmael, amen. So he knew that unbelief can get you into deep trouble. And God, because he's God, can work things out.
But there's some things like scrambled eggs you can't unscramble, amen. So he knew about Abraham and Sarah and he knew that they got their beautiful child, Isaac, but they went through that snag because they began to doubt the word of the Lord because in the delay, it's the delay where people get dismayed. Don't dismay in the delay or you may end up with an Ishmael, amen. And he knew that God told Sarah, she was laughing when she heard that God told Abraham, your wife's going to have a baby this time next year. And by this time, she was 89 and Abraham was 99 and she overheard it and she laughed. And God said, why are you laughing? And then she lied and said, I didn't laugh.
How many know when you get under pressure, sometimes you say stuff you... As soon as she said it, she thought, well, that was a stupid thing. I laughed, he heard me laugh. But God overlooked that and he said, you know, you did too laugh, but you think you're laughing now, you're laughing that mocking laugh. I am going to make you laugh from your belly. I'm going to make you laugh with so much joy that tears will run down your eyes while you're laughing because you are going to bring forth a baby.
Yes, you are going to at age 90. Sarah, you are going to have a baby and you're going to name him laughter because you're never going to forget that day the rest of your life, amen. And did Zacharias know this? Of course he knew it.
He knew all about that, amen. And then he knew that Isaac grew up and married a beautiful girl named Rebecca and they were very much in love. If you read their story, they were married many years and were still flirting with one another and still having, you know, their sweet little ways they treated one another and out in public. So even the king who thought that they were brother and sister said, wait a minute, brothers and sisters don't act like that. I think they might be married. But as beautiful as their marriage was and as happy as they were, they didn't have any kids.
And 20 years went by and they still didn't have any children. And the scripture says that Isaac entreated the Lord on behalf of his wife. And the word entreated in Hebrew is very strong.
It is very strong. You come before God and you beseech him with everything that was within Isaac. He said, Father God, I am the product of a miracle. I was born to a man who was 100 and a woman that was 90 and if you could bring me forth then you can give my wife Rebecca children too. Amen. And God heard him. And you know what? Rebecca didn't get one baby but she got two at one time.
So she had to wait 20 years but then she got two kids out of one pregnancy. Amen. So Zacharias knew about this. He's got two strong precedents. But there's another strong precedent.
Hold your place in Luke. There's a couple verses I want you to read that are familiar with this story as you are with Abraham and Sarah and Rebecca and Isaac and in Judges, Judges the 13th chapter. We have another very compelling story that we know Zacharias would have been familiar with and not only that, we can see the difference between someone who believes God immediately in contrast to someone who falters and wavers.
We have the story of Samson. We don't know his mother's name. She's just referred to as his father, Manoah's wife.
But let's look in Judges the 13th chapter and let's see, verse 2. And there was a certain man of Zorah of the family of the Danites whose name was Manoah and his wife was Beren and Berenot. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman and said unto her, Behold, now thou art barren and barest not, but thou shalt conceive and bear a son. And then he goes on to tell her that this is going to be a special son, that he's to be raised according to the Nazarite law, which means that he was never to have anything to drink of the vine.
In fact, his mother was not even allowed to eat raisins while she was pregnant. That's another message, but I want you to see that. And that he was to be raised in a certain way because verse 5 tells us, For the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. I'll paraphrase a little bit. So the woman is so excited about everything that she went and found her husband and she said, A man of God has come to me. And she says he had a countenance that was like an angel of God.
The reason was is because he was an angel of God. And so she told her husband everything the man said, how that they were going to have a son. Now let's see what Manoah says in verse 8. Then Manoah entreated the Lord. It's the same word I just quoted to you about Isaac entreated the Lord for Rebekah. And Manoah entreated the Lord and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us and teach us what we shall do unto this child that shall be born. Do you see the difference here? His wife comes and tells him this fantastic thing and he goes and he entreats God.
And he says, God, I want you to send that man back. Why? Because I think my wife has just lost her mind. Because I think my wife is having hallucinations. Because I think that her grief over not having a child has now affected her mind going through some strange scenario where she's dreamed this up in her head. How many know that there's a true condition where women want to be pregnant so badly they start having all kinds of symptoms that they're pregnant.
I knew someone personally that went through that. And I kept telling her, you are not pregnant. She was saying, look at me, I'm gaining weight. I said, yeah, you're getting fat. She says, my back is killing me and it killed me with my other kids. That's because you're getting fat. Started wearing maternity clothes.
And eventually the doctor told her, you are not pregnant. Amen. I hope you're being blessed by our message today. Don't make your angel mad when God answers your prayers. Have you ever thought how frustrating it must be for God when we doubt His Word and constantly demand reassurances and affirmations?
And imagine how His ministering angels must feel when Christians repeatedly fall into doubt and unbelief. Zacharias learned this when he was visited by Gabriel with the good news of the coming birth of his son John. But instead of rejoicing, he was skeptical and asked for a sign saying, how do I know this is true? Well, he got his sign when Gabriel zipped his lips for the next nine months and he couldn't speak his unbelief to Elizabeth, his wife or anyone else. Then Gabriel visited Mary, a young virgin with an even more impossible announcement of the birth of God's son. But she received his message with simple faith and said, let it be unto me according to Thy Word. I believe your spiritual perception can be greatly influenced by this study of Zacharias' stubborn unbelief versus Mary's exemplary faith.
Don't let delays make you cynical. If you've been waiting a long time for answers to prayers, this message can instruct you how to rid your heart of unbelief and carry your promise to full term. Don't make your angel mad when God answers your prayers is available on CD for a love gift to the radio ministry of $10 or more.
Request offer SK133. Our mailing address is Sound of Faith, P.O. Box 1744 Baltimore, Maryland 21203, or you may order online at soundoffaith.org where you can order on MP3s. But to order by mail, send your minimum love gift of $10, request offer SK133, mail to P.O. Box 1744 Baltimore, Maryland 21203. Until next time, this is Sharon Notsy, Maranatha.
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