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Daily Devotional

July 14

AND THOU, CHILD, SHALT GO BEFORE THE FACE OF THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAY

by Henry T. Vriesen

Luke 1

There came a time for the people of the quiet home in the hill country of Judea to rejoice. The words of the angel were fulfilled: a son was born to Zacharias and Elizabeth. Their neighbors and relatives were rejoicing with them. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him Zacharias after the name of his father; but his mother answered and said, “Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.” Then they turned to the aged father, who had not spoken since the angel had appeared to him in the temple, and they made signs to him, what he would have him called. Zacharias understood what they desired to know, and he asked for a writing tablet. It was handed to him, and he wrote, saying, His name is John; and his mouth was opened immediately and he spake and praised God.

The people were surprised. All at once Zacharias could speak to them again, as he did before he had the vision in the temple. News of the wonderful things that had happened spread through the hill country of Judea. The people marveled at the strange happenings, saying, “What manner of child shall this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him.

“And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath 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, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Zacharias and Elizabeth were careful to bring up their boy in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. When he grew up, much of his time was spent in the desert.

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