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When the angel of the Lord told him he would have a son, Zechariah doubted the prophecy. It was impossible, Zechariah thought, for an old man and a barren woman to have a son. After 50 + years of disappointment, perhaps I'd doubt too.

After he expressed his doubt, Zechariah was speechless.

Literally, Zechariah was speechless. "And now, since you didn't believe what I said, you won't be able to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly come true at the proper time." Luke 1:20 NLT

I don't know what constitutes the greater miracle, an elderly woman having a baby or preacher being quiet for nine months. Though I have no experience having a baby, I did have a time in my life when I couldn't speak. It was a humbling experience.

Drive-through windows were the absolute worst. Occasionally, I got a chuckle out of my disability. I wrote the name of a person I wanted to visit on my note pad and showed it to hospital pink-lady to get a room number. The kind woman slanted her head and asked, "Can you hear me?" Of course I could hear, but I couldn't speak to tell her, I had to write "yes" on the pad.

Notice that Zechariah's friends did the same thing when Elizabeth followed the Angel's instructions to name her baby "John."

"What?" they exclaimed. "There is no one in all your family by that name." [62] So they asked the baby's father, communicating to him by making gestures. [63] He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone's surprise he wrote, "His name is John!" [64] Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God. Luke 1:61-64 NLT

Did he praise God because he could speak, or did he speak because he could praise God? This isn't a "chicken or egg" type of question. Think about it. A man communicating with a pencil and tablet doesn't even try to speak. Apparently, his praise erupted and burst through a cold heart and sealed lips and flowed to the Glory of God.

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Impact Preaching: A Case for the
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