Sin stinks. And I think that the stench is even worse when we sin against our kids. Every time I sin against my toddler son or baby girl, I feel the weight of it twice over. So how do we find relief? What do we do when we mess up and dishonor God with our thoughts, words, and actions? We take a look at a very familiar Bible story found in Luke 1.
In Luke chapter 1, we meet Zachariah and Elizabeth. They are both describes as being, “righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord” (Luke 1:6). But as with all good stories, Zacharias and Elizabeth face a large crisis. They have no children. And though many Americans view children as an imposition to their rightful exaltation of their selfish desires, the ancient Jews viewed kids as a blessing. They understood the Word of God. You were to want children. Because Zachariah and Elizabeth had no children, their lives were undoubtedly a conundrum to themselves and to those around them (Luke 1:25). They all had to be asking, “why would someone so godly not have kids?”
The answer, God even greater plans for them. Plans they could not even imagine. So God sent an angel to tell Zachariah that he was going to send the couple a son. And not just any son, he was going to send them a child with the spirit of Elijah who would turn many to the Lord (Luke 1:16-17). And now we get to good part of the story. Zachariah says no. He tells an angel that he is too old to have a baby. He tells a supernatural being with a supernatural message that the supernatural cannot happen. He blows it; he sins. After a lifetime of following God, he doubts God’s goodness. He sins and becomes mute.
When we sin, we follow Zachariah’s pattern. We stop believing the promises of God. Sure we aren’t contradicting the word of an angel. Talk about an insane moment. But we can still relate.
If the truth be told, we are doing something far worse. We are doubting the love and wisdom of our risen savior. We are ignoring a lifetime with the savior, and once again trust in our flesh. And when we snap at our kid for interrupting our football game, for not doing the dishes, and for lying about her homework, we fail to trust God. We assume that God cannot work. We assume that happiness comes from us getting what when we want it. When it doesn’t happen, we doubt God’s goodness and power. We sin. And as Zachariah, we suffer the consequences of our sin. We experience broken relationships. Momentary lapses come with real loss.
So how do we get back on our feet? How do we recover? We do what Zachariah did. We start trusting in the Lord. We repent and remember that God is good. We remember that our obedience to God is not driven by others. It is driven by our love for God who first loved us. The solution for doubt is trust. And as we begin to renew our trust in God, obedience and joy will follow. When it came time to name John, Zachariah obeyed God. He named John, John even though all his friends wanted John to be Z. Jr. Zachariah obeyed (Luke 1:63).
The solution for all of us who have doubted God and made a mess of things is to trust and obey. Even if we have sinned against our kids who are too little to speak, we can find restoration through Christ if we will repent.
Have you sinned recently against your family? Repent, set your mind on Christ, and begin obeying!
Are you ready for joy to return to your home?