“And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.“ Luke 1:21-23
Have you ever objected to God’s word? Have you ever gone as far as to change his word? I think these are natural tendencies among sinful humanity; when were confronted with someone or something trying to mandate what we can or cannot do, we often tend to try and change it or argue against it, and if that doesn’t work we may just outright reject it. This type of behavior is a sinful travesty, and against scripture, but fortunately, for those whom God has truly called to himself, he (lovingly) does not allow to remain in that sin for very long. This was Zechariah's position. He was being disciplined. God was dealing justly with him because of his utter unbelief. Going from performing his priestly duties, seeing a vision of Gabriel and receiving great news one minute, to becoming mute and humiliated the very next minute. Because of this just act of God we see the humbling of Zechariah.
The ways in which God chooses to discipline his children during this life because of their wondering may vary. God is all-good and therefore his discipline is only good, and perfect in proportion. The important thing to recognize here, is that although Zechariah was disbelieving and rejected not only the promise of God but the very announcement of the world’s savior, his joy was not stripped from him, and the promise of a child was not removed. This is an important point to acknowledge, that God is not malevolent, he is not spiteful. And in this we see another reality: not only was Zechariah made to be mute because of his disbelief, but he was also humiliated in his inability to bless and dismiss the rest of the congregation waiting for him to come out of the temple. The Lord’s discipline didn’t end with a miraculous dumbing of his mouth, but stretched beyond himself, to his reputation and his status. We who are in Christ are a people that the Lord is jealous for; God will fulfill his promises despite our staunch rebellion, and he will have us to find our pleasure in nothing but himself. And yes, these are good things, because it is only in the Lord that we can ever have unwavering and unquestionable certainty of faithfulness and love.