4 (Revised)

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes;
And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.”

The Prophecy given by Jacob in Genesis 49:10 was fulfilled during the reign of Herod the Great. Herod, was a foreign King who robbed the Jews of their Kingdom, and according to prophecy, all this would happen before the coming of the Messiah. Shiloh, the Messiah, was coming and God had made two particular promises about it. Firstly, that the throne of David would be eternal, and after it was destroyed, He would rebuild the ruins. Secondly, the power of the kingdom would be eternal, yet a young branch would come out of the stem of Jesse.

Zacharias and Elisabeth played a significant role in the prophecy in that they gave birth to the one who said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” John the Baptist (John 3:30). He was born to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Isaiah prophesied about this child in Isaiah 40:3. He was described as:

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert[
A highway for our God.

Malachi prophesied about him Malachi 3:1, describing him as a messenger that would prepare the way.

Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,”
Says the Lord of hosts.


Zacharias and Elisabeth were chosen by God to give birth to the Forerunner.

In the minds of Zacharias and Elisabeth, their prayers for a child had all been in vain. They were well advanced in years and had most likely stopped praying for a child. They were not expecting to conceive. The desire was probably no longer there. Zachariah had given up hope of his prayers being answered. He must have received the greatest shock of his life when the angel of the Lord said,


Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elisabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” Luke 1:13

Had the angel come with these words 40 years earlier, they would have been received gladly. Their prayers and life were focused on other things by now, they had moved on. The words of the angel were confusing to Zachariah and there are so many points I could make about His response and subsequently the angels response, but this is not the point. The focus of this story is the coming Messiah.

Zechariah and Elisabeth’s prayer had been answered from the moment they prayed , but at that particular time, Mary and Joseph were not ready. They were to give birth to a child to redeem the world. John would be a forerunner, one to proclaim the glory of the Lord. He would prepare the hearts of the people and make them ready to receive Him. Until Mary and Joseph were ready, the prayers of Zachariah and Elisabeth could not be answered.

Zachariah and Elizabeth kept  themselves away for five months after Elizabeth became pregnant. In the solitude and quietness the Holy Spirit would have spoken to them extensively about John and his mission as the forerunner of Jesus Christ. With Zachariah being mute, it must have been a time of deep thought, reflection, fasting and prayer. This must have continued in preparation of the virgin Mary’s visit. John the baptist leaped in his mother’s womb and was filled with the Holy Spirit at the sound of Mary.

Zacharias and Elisabeth had a great affliction which they carried for years. Though they were a righteous couple they were not immune to sorrow. Remember as a child of God you are not exempt from trying situations. You must always remember that the good Lord will see you through whatever that trial or situation maybe. Even when prayers are not answered, He does not change. He holds the hands of believers and comforts them every step of the way. He is one that never leaves nor forsakes His children. He is closer than a mother, father, brother or sister. He is more than a friend. God will never give His sons and daughters more than they can bear.

© Ruth Dickson  2nd Dec.15 (Day 2) #RuthDicksonAuthorUK #Gihonpublishingandtranslating


#BeholdJesus #Forerunner #JesusChrist #Emmanuel


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