Have you ever heard or used this phrase?
I always took it to mean happy beyond belief.
From what I am told, my dad was tickled to death to be a father.
Apparently, my dad was pretty excited 67 years ago on March 22nd. It was a Sunday morning and I was born around 6:00 AM. Of course, at that time, people didn’t know if they were birthing a boy or girl.
The reason I mention his excitement, a friend that knew my dad well remembers the occasion. He said dad drove into their driveway, blowing the horn in his car saying it’s a boy, it’s a boy.
That is special, to hear tell of my birth event.
I am not dismissing my dad’s happiness, but his proclamation of joy pales when compared to that of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist.
Please read the following verses.
67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come and has redeemed his people.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.
Now one thing to remember here, Zechariah had asked the Angel of the Lord for proof that he and his elderly wife were really going to have a son as promised. So the sign he was given; he could not talk (or probably hear) for the remainder of his wife’s pregnancy.
So when John the Baptist is born, the Lord loosens his tongue and opens his ears and what you just read was his first words in 9 months.
Ah, that you and I would be as excited as Zechariah was to spread the good news of the Lord God.
Just remember, if we are believers, the Holy Spirit will help us be more like Zechariah.
Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.