Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
“Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who have been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant,
The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.
[Luke 1:67-80 NKJV]
... through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; this is a wonderful expression; so beautifully poetic. The Dayspring from on high has visited us; but what is Zacharias referring to when he talks of the Dayspring?
The Amplified Bible translates verse 78 as Because of and through the heart of tender mercy and loving-kindness of our God, a Light from on high will dawn upon us and visit [us], which gives a more readily identifiable picture of Zacharias’ prophecy.
Dayspring however, is a lovely description of the dawning of a new day and the birth of a saviour, and delving deeper into the birth of that word, reveals a unique perspective on the profound nature of what The Holy Spirit had given Zacharias to reveal in prophecy.
anatolē, translated as “Dayspring” in the New King James Version, means east (the direction of the Sun’s rising), but is itself derived from a word meaning to rise from, be descended from. In turn that word is made up from two concept words which say — putting those ideas together — the eternal in the midst.
We can see clearly how those onlookers were astonished at what The Holy Spirit was revealing through Zacharias! Having been made speechless; he breaks with tradition in naming his child, then proclaims the most amazing prophecy; that the eternal was coming to the temporal to reveal the way of peace!
“Add to your faith virtue ...” (2 Peter 1:5). “Add” means there is something we have to do.
We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do. We cannot save ourselves nor sanctify ourselves, God does that; and God will not give us good habits, He will not give us character, He will not make us walk aright. We have to do all that ourselves, we have to work out the salvation that God has worked in.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART