In the United States, perjury is considered a felony and is punishable by prison. In the State of California, perjury can even be a capital offense if the false testimony contributes to a wrongful conviction and execution. These penalties for perjury affirm our conviction as Americans, that justice depends on determining the truth of a case.
Scripture portrays God as a God who always tells the truth. When He swears an oath or binds Himself to a promise, He can be trusted to follow through. Consider, for example, the promises God made to Abraham in Genesis 12. I will bless you. I will make you great. You will inherit this land and become the father of many multitudes. All people on earth will be blessed through you. As Luke begins his “orderly account” of the historical events concerning Jesus, a promised Son of Abraham, he wants us to remember that God is a promise-keeper. God always makes good on His word.
In these opening narratives, Gabriel announces the impending births of both John and Jesus to their respective parents. Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary are filled with God’s Spirit and proclaim words of prophecy and praise. Zechariah praises God for an anticipated redemption (vv. 67–79); Elizabeth blesses the fruit of Mary’s womb (vv. 41–45); Mary announces the reversal of Israel’s fortunes (vv. 46–55). In chorus, these three announce the faithfulness of God to Israel, which the prophets of old had always proclaimed.
Interestingly, only when Zechariah writes the God-given name of his son on his tablet is his tongue loosed (v.64). God keeps the specific promise He made to Zechariah (v. 20) as a reminder that He is faithful to keep all His promises, including His covenant with Abraham. Zechariah’s life was proof that God can be trusted in everything He says and does.
Apply the Word
As a historian, Luke takes a particular interest in the people on the periphery of society, including the barren woman Elizabeth. Have you wondered whether God hears your prayers or cares about your situation? He does! Just as He was faithful to His promise to Abraham and blessed Elizabeth with a son and song of praise, He will be faithful to you.