Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his people. Luke 1:68 NABRE
Zechariah is the father of John the Baptist and a priest of the temple. When he and his wife bring the boy for his circumcision they name him John, although it is not a name in the family. Zechariah has been mute from the announcement by the angel that his wife will have a child and he should be called John. So when he affirms Elisabeth’s announcement of the name, his tongue is freed and he again speaks. Seeing this dramatic occurrence at the naming many think there will be a special call for this child. Of course we know they were right, he grew to become John the Baptist and announced the coming of Jesus, the Lamb of God. After all this took place Zechariah is credited with reciting a Canticle, a hymn that praises and thanks God. The canticle has as its opening line the quoted verse, blessing the God of Israel, who has visited the people and brought them redemption. Redeeming means releasing from captivity, a role God has played several times in the life of the Hebrew people. It is likely this canticle was a hymn or prayer commonly recited in service at the temple, or by the priests in service of the sanctuary. It praises God and gives the reasons to praise God. Zechariah adds the role of John in the Canticle that he will go before the Lord and be called prophet of the Most High.
The quoted verse is commonly seen to close out each of the five sections of the Psalms, a doxology that praises God. The people of Israel know they need to be familiar with praising God while in this life, because they expect it will be very common to praise God in the next life.
Do you praise and thank God daily for the gifts in your life? Do you expect to be face to face with God passing into the next life?The people of Israel know they need to be familiar with praising God while in this life, because they expect it will be very common to praise God in the next life. Click To Tweet
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