2. God works through people to share his love.
This hymn surveys God's plan through the forerunner and the anointed Davidic heir. The Lord, the God of Israel, is blessed for how he works through these two major agents. Where Mary's hymn was cosmic and personal, Zechariah's is cosmic and universal. Zechariah rejoices that God has raised up the Davidic horn to do his work of deliverance, as well as sending a prophet to prepare the way for him. That deliverance possesses both political and spiritual dimensions, as verses 71-75 and 78-79 show. God is using John the Baptist to prepare people’s hearts for the coming of the Savior.
Luke describes the hymn as Spirit-inspired. In other Lukan accounts, often the Spirit's presence leads to a prophetic declaration or to praise (Acts 2:17-18; 11:27; 13:1; 19:6; 21:9). This hymn offers a divine commentary on God's plan. John is the prophet of the Most High pointing to Jesus, the bright Morning Star. So Zechariah highlights Jesus just as his son John will. Praise for Messianic Redemption (1:68-75)
John's birth means that God is once again working actively to redeem his promise (vv. 72-73). Zechariah praises God, for he has come and has redeemed his people. What the NIV refers to as God's coming heralds an important Lukan concept, God's visitation (1:78; 7:16; 19:44; Acts 15:14). This introduction makes the hymn a praise psalm. The theme of the praise occurs in verses 68-70, while the explanation of the theme involves the rest of the hymn. God's visitation comes in Messiah's visitation (Lk 2:26-32). God has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David. God often acted in history to "raise up" a prophet (Deut 18:15, 18), a judge (Judg 3:9, 15), a priest (1 Sam 2:35) or a king (2 Sam 3:10). Luke likes the idea as well (Acts 3:22, 26; 13:22), showing how God directs the events of his plan.