SERVING GOD without fear in HOLINESS & RIGHTEOUSNESS: "Blessed is 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, who have been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which 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 the days of our life." (Luke 1:68-75)
The prophecy of Zechariah, found exclusively in these verses, was spoken under the power of the Holy Spirit. His words were filled with messianic importance with references to salvation as God’s unchanging covenant with Abraham was literally being fulfilled. It is to be noted that there are no less than sixteen direct allusions to the Old Testament contained in these few verses. Zechariah utters a remarkable prophecy in the form of a song which heralds the coming of the Messiah and His forerunner. This song is called the 'Benedictus' that means ‘Praise be’, and he is singing praises to God for three specific reasons:
- Praise to God for what He had done (vv. 68-69). Zechariah realized that the birth of his son, John, indicated the imminence of the coming of the Messiah. Faith enabled him to say God had already visited and redeemed His people by sending the Redeemer. Jehovah had raised up a horn of salvation in the royal house of David. (A horn was used to hold the oil for anointing kings; therefore it might mean here a King of salvation from the kingly line of David.)
- Praise to God for fulfilling prophecy (vv. 70-71). The coming of the Messiah had been predicted by the holy prophets since the world began. It would mean salvation from our enemies and safety from our foes.
- Praise to God for His faithfulness to His promises (vv. 72–75). The Lord had made an unconditional covenant of salvation with Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3). This promise was fulfilled by the coming of Abraham’s seed, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ. The salvation He brought was both external and internal. Externally, it meant deliverance from the hand of our enemies. Internally, it meant serving God without fear, in holiness and righteousness.
What we can apply in our lives today is that God’s deliverance from our enemies should result in our serving God without fear but with holiness and righteousness. To be holy and righteous is concerned primarily with the eternal laws of God. It is “the divine consecration and inner truth of righteousness” (Meyer). Let us serve God with reverence in holiness and righteousness and reach out to others as we reflect God’s love to others!
"...that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." (Eph 4:22-24)