This is the third part (Click for Part 1 and Part 2) of a series of the songs found in Luke. This one titled Benedictus (Latin meaning “Blessed be.”) There is too much in this hymn for such a short discourse so I’ll spend my time on just a few points of interest in the text which you can find in Luke 1:68-79.
I am particularly interested in the fact that Zechariah spent a good deal of time thinking about the last thing he said before he was able to speak again. The statement “how will I know this for certain (1:18)?” led him into the hand of God in a way many of us have experienced but just may not recognize it.
God has no problems making us silent. He can make you unable to speak. He can let you shout to the mountains but no one will be around to hear you. Or what I find in my life are two things. One I feel like I am speaking but I am not really understood. And two I cannot put the words together. The verbs don’t move far enough. The adjectives do not describe enough. You can see the concept of something but that concept is too brilliant and extraordinary. It has filled you with so much wonder and hope and security and comfort that my feeble words will not do it justice. Silence comes in different types of lyrics. It is not merely volume that God can use.
Zechariah sat for some time waiting on a child to be born. A lot of humility comes out of silence. When the child came the moment unfolded as planned and Zechariah gets to speak again. There is a lot in his hymn. The Horn of salvation (vs.69.) Notice the fact that he does not “Christianize” the hymn when Zechariah says “us (vs. 71)” it is really about his Jewish background. And also this usage of the word mercy (vs.72,78.) But what is particular significant is the hymn is sandwiched between the word “visit” found in verse 68 and verse 78. God did not merely come with vocal chords for Zechariah He brought him the very lyrics to sing. He brought him content and that content was before His very eyes. Zechariah was silenced. But now he can speak. He sings nothing about loosing his voice rather he sings about the same thing the prophets spoke about long ago.
There is nothing more encouraging that when God gives you the words to speak and the hearer hears them and embraces them and you.
The question I have for you is what is the first line of your song? In the past you have been silenced, or been told to wait, or lost things and God later restored or refilled you. How does your Benedictus begin? What is the first line of your own song about how good god is?
Today I would say mine would begin:
Thank You Father for being so kind and sending help along the journey for us.