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December 23, 2021 5:29 pm
Steve talks about the forgotten son of Christmas and four people with four very special promises. Listen to find out!
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The following is a prerecorded program is the noble show where biblical Christianity meets the everyday issues of why your home, at work, and even in politics. Steve is an ordinary man who believes in an extraordinary God it on a show, there's plenty of grace and lots of true but no sacred cows call Steve now 634 through 866-34-TRUTH or checking out online, Steve Noble Joe.com now here's your host noble everybody very welcome seminary. They were to be nothing somebody that I'm pretty sure you don't have any displays at home. This particular individual. I'm pretty sure when I can talk about a much at church on Christmas Eve or or this Sunday. He doesn't really show up a whole lot in the Christmas story. Although he's essential to it in many different ways and so today. Our friends at BG you seminary on the on the blog and the viewpoint blog, the forgotten Christmas son for names for promises for Christmas, 20, 21, and you can get that I where we always post every every week on their theology Thursday with her email@example.com you.edu\radio seminary.BG you.edu\radio and as you work your way through this blog over to talk about it today with Dr. Sam Horn.
This can be a lot of things in here that are very encouraging.
If you're not looking forward to Christmas that this is a tough Christmas season for you then. Now we pray that the show will be an encouragement to you as we look at somebody that doesn't get a lot of attention on Christmas, but it's a funny weed. I do show just recently when I was asking the audience asking you guys to call in and and share Christmas presents that you remember from when you are a child and we got this for some of us is goes back 3040 50 years in a couple of people in their 80s called in and and so that's difficult and interesting to do a course for anybody under 20 these days. It's hard to remember life before cell phones and laptops and the Internet and the smart phone that she is not even believable to them, but for some of us we like with their our Christmas toys. We go back to the days of typewriters member. Those and black and white televisions and x-ray to get up and turn the handle all kinds of wild stuff. Even rotary phones. I remember that in the same way. It's really hard for us to contextualize or imagine a time in this world without Christmas, but in Luke's gospel we see that very much like some of the things were facing today life for Israel was pretty bleak today were talking about politics were talking about the economy were talking about the backsliding of the church that was the exact issue going on back then as a couple of people came onto the scene I'm reading from the blog now. It may seem to anxious Christians that God is equally silent amid wrenching and almost unthinkable changes this Christmas season economic dislocation political division rising lawlessness, social disruption, immorality, religious drift, all that with the context, of course, covert and everything going on there yet amid the bleakness then and now, intrudes a remarkable story about a barren couple, representing a barren nation forgotten Christmas son, and God's grace and power were excited today to talk through this, the forgotten Christmas son for names for promises for Christmas, 20, 21 with Dr. Sam Horn, one of the distinguished professors at BG seminary. Sammons will great to have you back on the show.
Merry Christmas my friend.
Thank you. You always great to be on your show and I was very very excited about opportunity, and talk about one of my favorite passages in the Christmas story. I think you nailed it you know it's so hard to imagine life without certain things that have just been part of the fabric of who we are, for our entire life. You talk about cell phones my kid have not known a world without a cell phone, they wouldn't know what the world would look like and how we communicated without that device and I think the point you made is very very significant and that is that for most of us were always actually we cannot imagine a world without Christmas because Christmas is been around for 2000+ years everybody on the planet whether they believe in God or they worship Christ everybody on the planet is aware of what happened on December 20 and our economy is impacted by our social calendars are affected by our our our nation operates around national holidays are set aside for it and it's been this way for centuries. So to go back 2000+ years. Luke chapter 1 and think of a time when nobody was thinking about Christmas. Nobody was even imagining the monumental events that Luke is about to unfold. It is almost impossible for us but like you said this time frame back in 2000+ years ago for the nation of Israel was not a happy time for that in many ways it sorta mirrors you presented it so well mirrors what were facing in our own age and in our own country, even though were separated by all of these centuries you're politically this was a devastating time for this nation. They were under the bondage of the Roman Empire, and even if you acknowledge good that the Roman Empire did in terms of building roads in establishing conditions of peace, they were still oppressing the people and in the king that was over there wasn't even of the line of David. He was a puppet king that had been established by Rome over them and you know his name. His name is Harry Beck chapter 1.
Luke actually situates this story in the reign of Herod the great before Herod, you know, there were the Greeks and before the Greeks over the Persians and before the purge is the Babylonian number for them.
There were series the really dark time and it had been that way for a long time and economically ending today is a whole lot of people with inflation what's happened in the economy because it's over. There's a lot of people really experiencing a lot of economic stress and of course for most of the players in the New Testament, in the days of the birth of Jesus and end, and that's a name that will come up today on the show but that's not were refocusing on and you mentioned Luke chapter 1, of course, most of the time we start Luke chapter 2, but economically you had people that were economically oppressed.
They were poor. They didn't have much money and then religiously had all kinds of issues with the church back then as you do now and yesterday got it been silent for 400 years. The last prophet Malachi that you have in your Bible had spoken 400 years earlier and then from God. There had been no revelation coming there with other things that it happened but I me so very silent time very oppressed time poverty-stricken you mentioned to me everywhere they turned the Romans were taxing that so this is a really really dark time, yet really dark time for them and were about to hit the brakes and in a course for a lot of us, we can see the writing on the wall. The sounds eerily familiar but the right. Looking back, Merry Christmas everybody this is Steve Noble the Steve Noble show theology Thursday with their friends at BG seminary and were excited for this ongoing partnership and we been gone for several months now so you can check that out on the podcast. The podcast of the show which you can get on Apple on spot. A fight anywhere you get your eye or you get your podcast. You can check out theology Thursday every single week with our friends at BG seminary course.
We also normally do Facebook live in YouTube live. But today I'm not able to do that because of the Christmas break, so just radio only podcast only, but all the other ones you can find on YouTube live as well as Facebook, live, or you can always go to the website does Steve Noble show.com and we got all the shows archived there as well. But today, a special Christmas addition as we consider the blog post today from our friends at BG seminary.
The viewpoint blog that we always use this kind of a launching point each week and they're doing great thought leadership at BG. That's why I've been so excited about this partnership to be able to bring that level of thinking and scholarship and theological understanding to kind all of us out here in the masses who normally would not have access to that because the overwhelming majority of us aren't seminary students never have been, never will be as true for most folks, listening for you and I'm a little bit of a entered into between Iva Masters degree that I got from southeastern Baptist illogical seminary and ethics in theology and culture some kind of a go-between in a mediator here between the brilliant people that we get access at BG seminary today is no exception with Dr. Sam Horn back on the show esteem professor and teaches theology and several other things at BG seminary working our way through today's blog post the forgotten Christmas son for names were promises for Christmas, 20, 21, and I know for a fact that many of you need this today because for a lot of us. This is a Merry Christmas we get a big smile on her face, but for some of you perhaps you that's the least thing on your radar screen and it's not feeling very Merry but God is on the throne. He loves you. He's got a plan for you and you can always trust him no matter what's going on.
So today we we hope this blesses you were working our way through it seminary.BG you.edu\radios. You can check out all the blog posts each week but send that the forgotten son of Christmas were like well that can't possibly be Jesus. It sounds a little confusing to help us understand who were talking about you so often.
Luke actually two births that are both miraculous in different ways and we always focus on the main birth birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the announcement that came to Mary, but it's super interesting that many, many months before the angel came to marry that same angel appeared in Luke chapter 1 to husband, a priest named Zechariah, and Luke really want you to know about this guy records we know and so he's like anything about this guy. He's he's a priest and he's in this particular group of priests, and they come to Jerusalem two times a year to serve in the temple and is married to a daughter of Aaron in the line of Aaron woman named Elizabeth and they are righteous and they are blameless, so he tells you all this up front so you know exactly who were talking about manually bombshell and the bombshell is there. Barrett. They have an and if this is a tragedy for them because in their day and age. If you are righteous and you are blameless before God.
God's favor upon you would often be presented as a child you know you would have children and so here's this couple and their age there well past the childbearing, probably in their 70s and everybody around even though they might look at them and say okay you know we we know your priest and you say you're blameless, but there's gotta be something going on behind the scenes because your bear and loose want you to know the reason their parent has nothing to do with any hidden said they are actually representing a barren nation because for 400 years this nation has been praying for God to send a baby into the womb of a virgin that can end up being the Messiah and for generation after generation. The nation is been there so you got this barren couple, representing the barren nation in the best of all of this darkness, and on the highest day of his life.
Zechariah gets chosen for a high honor. He gets chosen to go into the holy place and put incense on the altar, which represents the praying of all the people and so he goes in and he does that and while the prayers are going up he's praying for the people the godly people of Israel who happened to be Jerusalem come to the temple every day of the hour prayer in their praying for Messiah to come, Zechariah goes and put on the altar. He puts his prayer representing the prayer, the nation doing that. He looks over to the right side of the altar and there's an angel and I mean it's terrifying. You can imagine, you know, we typically think this is a fairytale at the actual story that actually happened. So here's this age priest terrified and the angel says to him, Zechariah, don't be afraid. I very good news for you. Think about Zachariah is his name actually means God remembers the first major thing.
Luke wants you to get that whatever was about to happen here in the next two chapters is happening because God is setting in motion things that he promised David and things that he promised Abraham 2000 years earlier. In 1500 years earlier or thousand years earlier. So you have these promises with Abraham 2000 years earlier with David.
A thousand years earlier with Moses even 1500 years earlier and you're starting to wonder when the world is all and in here's a priest whose name means God remembers God is the Gabriel I want you to go down and tell that priest whose name means God remembers that I really do remember and I'm about to do something so amazing that all the people are getting ended up rejoicing and that's exactly what happens when the babies born to Elizabeth everybody around her.
Rejoices funny. Zechariah's name means God remembers actually doesn't remember was clueless how I know this for certain is like a member that's dorky for Sarah. It's amazing the point that is we don't remember right, we are in the same boat.
Zachariah is praying we pray and some people that may be listening to your show regularly been praying for things for first for years, maybe for decades think they might be praying for lost son Roloff daughter they might be praying for some massive thing that is happened over the last two years and they been praying and they been reading their Bible and they been walking faithfully before God and it's like the heavens are silent and they wonder has God forgotten that God cared God. Here in this story is in our Bible and it's the first great promise of Christmas and that it God remembers God hears and God is about to act in a huge way. Yet such an amazing point and I went through it and taught for several years, something that came out of Focus on the Family called the truth project which is a great can a biblical worldview.
Apologetics for the church and one of the things that.Dr. Del Tackett says in there.
On this particular subject is we forget what we should remember and we remember what we should forget and often times we forget what we should remember which is the faithfulness of God saying that God hears God cared God for members and state resisted starting with reality Thursday with our friends at the seminary special Christmas addition is are working our way through the blog post that you definitely should go get you should share it under social media, print and bring it home. Let people read it and enjoy it. Be encouraged by it over the Christmas break, because let us not assume, as we say Merry Christmas and there's lights and pretty things and great food and presents under the tree all that stuff. There is a significant number of people around this country who are suffering, and Christmas is not such a great time here for them. It might be you. It might be a family member.
So today as we work our way through the forgotten Christmas son for names that we started a Zechariah for names and for promises that we all need to hear. We all need a reminder of this, but for some of us it might be a particularly difficult Christmas so I pray that this really blesses you and helps you.
Zechariah was the first on this literally means God remembers and that's the first promise were talking about Dr. Sam Horn want to distinguish prep professors of theology at the Bee Gees seminary as well as pastor and very involved in the church as well, helping us walk through were in Luke chapter 1.
Usually we skip chapter 1 go right to chapter 2 in the Christmas season, but there's so much here in chapter 1.
It's awesome. So we are talking about Zachariah and Elizabeth, and God remembers, but then we go to the actual forgotten Christmas son in the next promise, which is God's grace and so who is this forgotten person yeah amazing story, you know that right in the holy place from the altar of incense smokes going up representing all the praying of God's people, and that praying is been going on really the day of Abraham right and and really all the way up to Moses and all the way up to David and all the way up through the time of Zechariah and in the faithful people that were honoring God, keeping the Torah if they happen to be Jerusalem. They would come to the temple and they would pray at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. At the time of evening prayers and so here Zachariah God remembers, and he goes in and any any season angel and the angel had a message for him and we know the angel talk about the angel here in a minute but so let's put him on plot, but his message is good news actually said I'm coming to give you good news and good news is that God heard your prayers you I don't want to skip over that because sometimes we want to write to the answer and we think the answer is the good news. But the good news is actually that God is been listening and God is been hearing and God is been acting so here's the good news. Zachariah God is been hearing your prayers and he is answering them and you and Elizabeth are going to have a son. And when that comes you are to call his name John. Angel actually names two sons. He named this son and then when he appears to Mary. Later on he named that. So, here, here are two names that have been given to people by God in their very significant and the name John actually means God is gracious God hasn't forgotten God is angry God is powerless. God hasn't turned his back on you in spite of all the things that have happened in all the way you turned your back on God, it turned his back on you.
He is gracious and when this son comes Zachariah. He will be great in the side of the Lord and the evidence for that is that when we get to Luke chapter 7 and we actually meet John and Jesus. Jesus talks about John and he says he is the greatest person that ever lived. So were actually meeting the greatest person on the planet outside of Jesus Christ work and what making great is the fact that the Holy Spirit is on him and he's on him, even from the time of his wound because of the role that God is given to him and so what what this son that that Zachariah and Elizabeth about to have is going to do is to have a ministry of mercy. He's going to magnify God's mercy and the way he's going to do that is he is going to fulfill an ancient promise that God made to his people that one day somebody like Elijah would come and when that person came, he would have the same Holy Spirit controlling him that controlled Elijah and he would have the same message that Elijah had but but the outcome his message would be different than the outcome of Elijah's message and so when Elijah came he preached against the people sin and he called them to repentance and very few people repented when this time what actually come on the scene, he would have a similar message he was going to call people to repentance and this time they would respond so there is there's a huge thing that's going on here something. Put yourself in Zachariah's place right you been praying for all these years you sort of crossover in that place where I know I should keep praying. I am praying because it's the right thing to do. I believe in God, nothing to change about my beliefs on behaving the way I'm supposed to behave, but I actually crossed over this little space in my head right don't think God is good answer, at least not now. Maybe down the road someday but will be in my lifetime, so I'm just praying like I do every day, and here on the most holy day of my life. I will continue to pray to the right thing to do and he is blown over when this angel shows up to say here you Zachariah, and his mercy is about to blow you and the entire nation away you're about to have the greatest display of God's mercy show up, and his name is John John it's it's I hate you you you will get a son you can get this to get this particular run chosen before the foundation of the world what they these good at that. Jesus himself said would say hey this is the number one guy on the planet setting himself aside, obviously, but it's really mind-boggling and and that's where you have to just got a hold on and I appreciate you set that up.
The way you did Sam because I think there's a lot of times when I just pray because I know it's the right thing to do but often times I pray what they kind of I guess the spirit of giving up I okay I know about it. Right thing to do, but we don't have right yet so difficult, but not what I think about John's ministry. You know obviously what you do in the next half of the past and he went Zachariah actually get what back got Zachariah what you prophesied everybody because everybody wants to know John what he's going to do and don't want you to tell.
Zechariah prophesied at the end of the chapter is this son is going to prepare a prepared people for the Messiah asked how the world going to do that to prepare a prepared people right in the answer is he's going to preach a particular message repented of your sins. He's not call them to rise up against the Romans to get an army together simply say everything God wants to do for you here. Here's the real thing. You have to be delivered for from you have to be delivered from your unbelief. I had to be delivered for my unbelief. And you know that I did believe the angel and you gotta be delivered from your sleep and we both have to work at such a powerful point sword that we talk about Zechariah, the father we talking about John the son of forgotten side of Christmas as we mentioned, let's go back to Gabriel was obviously a major player here.
I can't wait till the day when we get to see some of these angels with our own eyes. It's going to be absolutely mind-boggling. But Doug Gabriel, a central player here announcing both these birds naming both the John's. What about Gabriel is a fascinating thing when you talk about Gabriel because Gabriel is actually a war Angel. He used the head of one of the heads of God hosts in the word hosts in Hebrew the word for army. So when the Angels appear in Luke chapter 2 there described as a heavenly host their heavenly army that showing up every time you see Gabriel.
He is in some kind of military venture.
So away we saw Gabriel 500 years earlier when he showed up to Daniel. Daniel had this vision and he's wanting an answer about what the vision is an Gabriel shows and he's just been in a battle and that I was on my way and I got waylaid by the enemy and I was in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy and Michael came to help me. So we go to the names of two angels wielding archangel Michael, and we know this angel Gabriel in the name Gabriel actually means God is strong, God is powerful and every time we see Gabriel in the Scriptures, he is at the forefront of an amazing thing that only God can do. So when he shows up to Mary. He's about to announce the birth of the Messiah, which is the opening act in a war against Satan and the proof that this is an opening sort of active birth of Jesus is what Satan moves Herod to combat right all the babies in Jerusalem and try to kill right so I'll be working this week.
We think of Christmas in this wonderful time opening act of a war that Jesus is going to win. Yes it's possible I'm about to hit the break and that such what a fascinating realignment, bringing us into the reality of what were being taught by the word that I just think about Sam or about the break I think about the opening scenes of saving Pvt. Ryan to go okay this is brutal as this is serious now. Yeah player in the story Elizabeth Beckett Noble, a special edition of theology. Thursday I will be here tomorrow. By the way, so I'll be spending my day with my family. I hope you do the same on Christmas Eve and hope you have a very very Merry last deeply significant and profound Christmas experience over the next few days. That's where excited today to really focus on Christmas and but in the unique way in a way that normally we can skip over Luke chapter 1 we learn about Zechariah and the pregnancy with him and his wife Elizabeth. Of course the birth of John the visitation of the angel Gabriel is just going to skip right to Luke chapter 2 at Christmas time. But that's why, today as we are discussing the viewpoint blog from our friends at Bee Gees seminary.
The forgotten Christmas son for names and four promises for Christmas, 20, 21% is John the Baptist or John the baptizer and the names Zechariah which he talked about were talking about John himself were not right now, or talk about Gabriel and in a few minutes will get to Elizabeth and the will wrap it all up with some encouraging words and exhortation for all of us, but with these promises so important that we remember God remembers that's Zechariah we get to John. God is gracious and then Gabriel God is strong in these characters in this actual historical event. I Dr. Seymour and we don't know that much about them because the Bible doesn't tell us a lot about them, but it's fascinating when we start talking about Angels and especially the angel Gabriel because we know about Gabriel in and we know of course about Michael the Archangel, but these are just mind blowing.
I just like I said earlier, I can't wait to CT skies in person one day you want to think that you immediately see whenever you see Angel Scripture is on a human level, the immediate response when you actually see an angel is there's there's characters terror. Understandably, you're falling down your silent and the angel speaks words of comfort to you and the angel actually points you to somebody that even more majestic and an Gabriel.this when he said Zachariah KI know you're doubting this because you're asking me for proof. Here's the proof. I am Gabriel and I stand in the presence of the Lord and I serve you. Here's an angel who stands in the presence of God for all eternity.
And he wants Zachariah and all the rest of us to know. I serve a God who is able to do anything. There is nothing impossible to go back. That's what Mary is going to actually articulate when she gives her praise when when she finds out what happened to her, which is even greater than what happened to Zachariah and Elizabeth write me day they conceived a son in their old age by natural means. Mary is actually going to have God create unified direct creation of baby in her would you like who can do this answers God I serve the God who is able and so when you stop and think about all that is going on here.
Gabriel is in the story, not to point you to him to his might and his power. But the point you to the God who is remembering his promises to his people and he's there to give testimony as he served this humble priest and age lady and the nation is there to say that the greatest way I can serve you is to remind you that God is able God strong and you know Steve, I need those reminders you need reminders, we can have all the theological training.
I mean I'm a pastor I'm a seminary professor, and yet every day. There are times when I get so discouraged and I wonder how the world is this going to work out and like you come to this text and your Zechariah and you should remember, you have all the story and have your Bible, all the sermons and got you need a reminder, I am able.
There is nothing impossible for me in this economy you talk about help you talk about you know nothing about that site. Nothing impossible for God. It's fascinating in this part of the mood. Elizabeth that Gabriel had just shut Zechariah's mouth and Zechariah struggling to believe what you like.
Sounds familiar, and we struggled to God in any that's why I love the honesty of the Bible. The Bible records all kinds of things that it doesn't necessarily endorse their because we can relate to that Zechariah had a hard time believing I think we struggled with that ourselves and basically for between nine and 12 months you silent and you have a lot of time to think and when baby is born. There's a conflict about the naming of the child because everybody's like he should be named Zechariah and Elizabeth comes along to know his name is John and there like your mom you don't get the name is Billy hand.
Zachariah is writing he you actually write something really unusual.
He doesn't say his name will be John. He said his name is John and it's like he's pointing back to what the angel told him he said the angel named him and I believe that so somewhere in the silence Zachariah had moved from unbelief to belief in the moment.
He wrote that down. His mouth was released and he can speak what comes out of his mouth is one of the most amazing prophetic praises in the Bible is called the Benedictus and it's all about Jesus and it's all about you yet so beautiful and so powerful, so amazing. But then what about Elizabeth because obviously she's carrying this baby John, and her encounters with Mary in their time together is just amazing. Let's talk about Elizabeth in this final promise.
God is favorable.
You know I love the story that puts Elizabeth front and center. Because God so often takes women who in the culture of the day were sort of not even paying attention to you and he brings them front and center.
Look at the lineage of Jesus. There's women in that line so it's like God is saying. I want you I want you to know how much I value and therefore women and this woman Elizabeth is someone that I've been caring for and in you all thought that that there's something wrong with her blonde in a vindicator and so Elizabeth opens up her mouth and she uses the word me three times in her statement. She says the Lord has done this for me in the days when he looked on me to take away my reproach your God was about to do something massive for the whole nation but he but before he did something for the whole nation. He looked at this one person this faithful woman who had prayed her entire life are assigned and he said to her, Elizabeth.
I've heard your prayers and I'm giving you a son, and Elizabeth believed she appropriated and she praise God she said I got it done this for me and how may times do we miss God's blessing because we failed to appropriate what God is doing for us. We want God to do something big for our country. We want God to do something big for our church. We want God to do something and we should pray those big prayers were invited to pray those big prayers but sometimes in failing to see the big thing that God is doing because it it hasn't happened yet. Or if you were not know we don't know what's coming right we just forget how many times God is at work in our own little life and we just forget to rejoice in that and Elizabeth didn't she she she she went home and she got pregnant and after she got over the shock of that, she began to realize God did this for me.
Well even in the past two years of COBIT and all of the stuff that's been going on around us.
God is been at work in each one of our lives and we can do it Elizabeth that we could step back and say you know God actually you been at work. I thought you were absent because you didn't answer the way I wanted you to answer it or you didn't do it the way I thought you should do it or didn't turn out the way I wish it was a way I pray for God you've done things for you to things for my life. You show this mercy to me and and Elizabeth brings it all back to one person before God and that's really were praying is praying is one person before God, pouring out their heart and God hearing that person.
Such power, and I think about the Psalms and and David describing God and claiming his ear leaning over him is that you know he turned out that Cox read a little bit and turns his ear to you because that's what you and that's you in the Lord, the God of the universe.
Elizabeth name and then will will recapture everything we got about two minutes left. Sam God is favorable you know God has favored me. I mean, there's a debate about whether God is my fortune or God is the one about whom I swear, but at the end of the day.
Her name means I can trust God. God is active favorably and you know Steve evening the times you not talk you know when we haven't been on here you know you have given testimony.
I could give in to give testimony of how God is active favorably to even in the midst of all of what we've been through 24 promises as we wrap it up for about a minute and half before promises for Christmas coming right out of these four characters, and these were people that are historical people, including the angel Gabriel and these things actually happen. The four promises for Christmas just to remind everybody. God remembers our praying God is merciful and gracious God is strong and mighty and God is favorable towards us wrap that up for us and we just got about a little over a minute left, so that we can really land the plane and praise the Lord as we enter Christmas or promises really are the who we are and what we need right.
We need to know that God remembers and we need to know that God is gracious and we need to know God's favor. What are we really got this message.e.g. seminary. Christmas is my brother. This is is