The angel announces the birth of John the Baptist.
6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.
11 While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him.
13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. 14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord.
18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” 19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20 But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”
Luke 1:66 Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.
As one of about eighteen thousand priests, Zechariah serves in the temple only twice a year, and even more rare is the opportunity to assist in the daily offering by going into the sanctuary to present the incense offering.
Zechariah and Elizabeth were good people, they lived a lifestyle that was consistent with God's law, they would have been great parents but it wasn't time for that yet. God had a special child for them to raise, a child with a very important mission.
Zechariah and Elizabeth didn't realize that they were waiting for God's timing for a purpose that was grander than they could have possibly imagined. Special children often came out of long periods of waiting and this one was no exception.
Women in the Bible that had to wait for children:
Judges 13:2, 5
1 Samuel 1:9-28
Help us Lord to be ready for you to work despite the delays.