To the question of Zacharias, the angel said, "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings." Five hundred years before, Gabriel had made known to Daniel the prophetic period which was to extend to the coming of Christ. The knowledge that the end of this period was near had moved Zacharias to pray for the Messiah's advent. Now the very messenger through whom the prophecy was given had come to announce its fulfillment.
The words of the angel, "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God," show that he holds a position of high honor in the heavenly courts. When he came with a message to Daniel, he said, "There is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael (Christ) your Prince." Daniel 10:21. Of Gabriel the Savior speaks in the Revelation, saying that "He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John." Revelation 1:1. And to John the angel declared,"I am a fellow servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets." Revelation 22:9. Wonderful thought--that the angel who stands next in honor to the Son of God is the one chosen to open the purposes of God to sinful men.
Zacharias had expressed doubt of the angel's words. He was not to speak again until they were fulfilled. "Behold," said the angel, "thou shalt be dumb,...until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season." It was the duty of the priest in this service to pray for the pardon of public and national sins, and for the coming of the Messiah; but when Zacharias attempted to do this, he could not utter a word.
Coming forth to bless the people, "he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless." They had waited long, and had begun to fear, lest he had been cut down by the judgment of God. But as he came forth from the holy place, his face was shining with the glory of God, "and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple." Zacharias communicated to them what he had seen and heard; and "as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house."
(How many of us would be struck dumb because we disbelieve what God has said in His word. I am afraid there wouldn't be much communication these days if this happened to us. It is imperative that we do believe and act upon His word in our hearts and in our lives. Zacharias was dumb until the child was born. I am sure that he learned a great lesson in faith that day. We also, can learn from his experience that to trust in God and His promises are of great value to us today. Let us learn this lesson of faith. Grandma Joan.)