And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years (Luke 1:18).
There are seven people in the Bible of whom it came to be said that they were stricken in years or stricken in age. Two of these are in the New TestamentZacharias and Elizabeth, parents of John the Baptist. Note also Luke 1:7: And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
Four times, this description was applied to Joshua (Joshua 13:1; 23:1,2) and once to David (I Kings 1:1). These also had been called to key ministries in Gods great plan.
First of all, however, it was applied to Abraham and Sarah, under circumstances remarkably similar to those of Zacharias and Elisabeth. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age: and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women (Genesis 18:11).
Note that of these couples, Abraham and Sarah were to be the parents of Isaac, who would be the forerunner, so to speak, of the dispensation of law, as committed to the world through the nation of Israel. Zacharias and Elisabeth were to be the parents of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ and the dispensation of grace, as spread through the world by the church. Yet both sets of parents were well past child-bearing age when God miraculously sent both promised sons into their respective homes.
These two amazing events, so remarkably parallel to each other, assure us that God always fulfills His word, even when providential intervention is required. They also clearly testify that He often saves the best for the last. No matter how stricken in years we may be, He still has wonderfully important work for us to do as long as we live and believe and follow His word. HMM