“In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.” Luke 1:5–7
Zechariah and Elizabeth were good people and loved the Lord God of Israel, the maker of heaven and earth. Their lives reflected the goodness of God and they kept his statutes and laws. They reflected God’s character to the world around them and, I imagine, they loved people really well. They were sinners, for sure (and if you read on a little bit further in this passage that becomes clear) but they were righteous before God through their faith and obedience to him.
So why, then, were they not blessed with a child? A child, in their day, was a sign of God’s blessing so to not have one was a sign of his disapproval. Why would an all-knowing God not bless the faithful, like Zechariah and Elizabeth, with something they deeply desired, in their case, a child? Why does God not give us what we earnestly desire, things which are not sinful and things that demonstrate his blessing to those who love and follow him?
What is a good thing you desire God to give you that he hasn’t? Is God angry with you? Is he holding your past sin and disobedience against you like an angry taskmaster withholds food from his slaves? By no means!
We know our God is a good father to his children and he loves to give good gifts to them. God gives his followers the blessing of relying on him entirely. God gives us hard challenges so, when people see our struggles and faith in him through those struggles, they will see our treasure is not in the gifts our Father gives, but in our Father himself.
By faith and reliance on the goodness of God is how Zechariah and Elizabeth can be referred to as righteous. They trusted the Lord, and he counted them as righteous. God ultimately gave Zechariah and Elizabeth a child, John the Baptizer, who would set the stage for Jesus, but it was in God’s timing.
God may or may not reward your trust in him in this life, but truly there is no safer and truer place to put your trust than in the God of the Bible. He is faithful, he is good, and he may not give you everything you want, but he is all you need.