Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Before He is Born

But the Angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah ; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. Luke 1:13-15, NIV

You know how fanatical I am about things like "age of accountability" and infant baptism, things like that. I believe infants should be baptized, but not in the opposite practice of denying the responsibility of children below a certain age, usually twelve.

The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth is so remarkable, because of their old age and the miraculous nature of their son, John the Baptist. Not the least of the features of this story is the filling of John with the Holy Spirit prior to his birth.

I understand that it was the practice of the Chinese to count a child as one year old at birth. Even long ago they were aware of the period of gestation and considered you a person even before you were born.

Then came the story of John who leaped inside his mother when the birth to be of Jesus was announced. How about the rest of us? Can the Holy Spirit influence us while we are yet unborn?

At the very least can a child be dedicated to God so early? I think of Hannah praying to God for a son who was to be Samuel.

Could it be that the work of God is taking place apart from the knowledge and will of little children? I hope we will credit the work of God, apart from the will of man. Man's will has been raised above the will of God, and almost deified.

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