18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
Adam and Eve. They started it. God gave them only ONE job to do: leave those two trees alone. As the only two people on the entire planet they literally could do anything in the whole world except that. I think we all know how that turned out. For all of us. Thank you. Not.
Abram and Sarai. Admittedly, they were old when they got the news that a son would be coming, the first of countless descendants and nations. Still, they had a good idea of who was at their campfire.
“I hear you laughing in there!”
“Who? Me? No laughing in here. Dry throat.”
The children of Israel. Pick a year. Any year. Let’s start with the Exodus. They saw the waters part and passed through on dry ground. They followed pillars of smoke and fire. They’re at the foot of a mountain, covered with smoke, fire, clouds, and the ground shakes from His presence. God says to just chill while I have a chat with my number 1.
What did they do? Take all of the gold they plundered from the Egyptians as they walked out and made themselves one of those Egyptian cow gods.
God told them time and again to just follow His rules. When they did, nothing but net. When they didn’t, everything they did clanged off the proverbial rim.
This is war, folks. Just as in the book of Daniel, God’s angels battle Satan’s angels. The contest is fierce, and the good guys sometimes get stalled out, just like in Daniel. We can’t see it or hear it, but they are battling right there in your room this second! They do everything they can to protect us, body and soul, from falling for evil’s influence.
They’re the hostage rescue team come to get us. The last thing they need is for the hostages (us) to give them any pushback while they’re trying to help us escape with our souls. Which is exactly what Zacharias did when Gabriel told him about his impending fatherhood.
Gabriel is not some rank and file angel. He stands – stands, mind you – in the very presence of God Himself. He didn’t come all the way from heaven with a personal, special delivery message from God to play twenty questions.
When will we EVER stop forgetting that all God wants to do is to have us accept the free gift of salvation held in His outstretched Hand, and then spend eternity with Him? We’re not some trained monkey that He has do tricks for Him. When He says “Do this,” He’s not having us entertain the neighbors. He’s trying to get us to cooperate with the whole rescue operation.
So when a loving, doting, caring, caressing God says He’d like us to jump, there’s really only one appropriate response.