“And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
(Luke 1:20 NIV)
God had enough of Zechariah. This man of God had spoken words of doubt and distrust. When told that he would have a son at an old age, he couldn’t believe it. “Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years”‘ (Luke 1:18). Can you imagine him leaving the temple with an attitude of unbelief, which would infiltrate the people that he was ministering to? So God made his priest mute for a while, so he would learn to listen attentively and watch closely as God fulfilled His words, so that when he did open his mouth, words of praise would come out. And thankfully, they did (Luke 1:64).
As priests of God, He will often quiet us down too in order that we might stop speaking words of doubt around others. It’s also a time when we learn to listen to Him better and watch Him work out His promises for us. But until we’re ready, we’re to remain silent, and that’s okay. Because when we’re ready to speak, words of praise will emerge from our lips, lifting up the people around us.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
(1 Peter 2:9)