There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the priestly division of Abijah. He had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. – Luke 1:5
It makes a great deal of difference in what times and amid what circumstances and influences a man lives. In godly days, when piety pervades all life, it is not remarkable that one should live righteously; but when the times are ungodly, and the prevailing spirit is unrighteous, the life that is holy and devout shines with rare splendour, like a lamp in the darkness.
Such were the times and the spirit of “the days of Herod,” and such were the lives of the blameless old people, who are here mentioned. Amid the almost universal corruption of the priesthood and hypocrisy of the Pharisees, they lived in piety and godly simplicity.
The lesson is that it is not necessary for us to be like other people, if other people are not what they ought to be. The prevalent standard of living ought not to satisfy us, if the prevalent standard is low. No matter how corrupt the times, we should strive to live righteous and godly lives.
Nor is this impossible. God is able and willing to give us all the grace we need to enable us to live a true and holy life in the most unfavouring circumstances; and He will do so if He has really placed us in these circumstances. God makes no mistakes in planting people in this world. He does not put any of us in a spiritual climate in which we cannot grow into beauty and strength; and wherever He plants us, He sends the streams of grace to refresh us.
So, whatever our circumstances may be, it is possible for us to live a godly life. The darker the night of sin about us, the clearer and steadier should be the light that streams from our life and conduct. Any one should be able to live well in the midst of friendly influences and favouring circumstances; but it is doubly important that we be loyal and true to Christ when surrounded by those who care not for Him.