… according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. Luke 1:9
Remaining faithful, Zechariah (the Jewish priest who is without a child) keeps showing up for work. On this day he is serving as priest before God and something incredible – a once in a lifetime event – happens. He is chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. A holy honor. God is always working behind the scenes. The whole multitude of the people is outside praying. Zechariah is inside praying as well, perhaps sneaking in an often-repeated prayer for a child.
While lighting the incense, something comes into focus from the corner of his eye. An angel appears on the side of the altar. “Do not be afraid…your prayer has been heard…your wife Elizabeth will bear a son.” And not just any son. The angel goes on to say that many will rejoice at his birth. He will be great before the Lord. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. He will make ready for the Lord a people prepared. No ordinary child, indeed.
The prayers, the obedience, the faithfulness, the waiting. Elizabeth is with child. The one the last prophet, Malachi, 400 years earlier spoke of.
“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord,” Elizabeth exclaims with a loud cry.
When God’s plan starts unfolding, you’ll understand why it took so long. Be patient and faithful. Your time is coming. Steep yourself in the Word so you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. The future may look different than you envision – it certainly did for Elizabeth – but God’s plan is perfect and beautiful, and you are a glorious part of it. Blessed is she/he who believes that there will be a fulfillment of what has been spoken by the Lord.
Question: Are you in a season of waiting? Think and pray about how God may be using his waiting time in your life for His purposes.