For more than thirty years, Zechariah made his twice-yearly journey to the Temple to fulfill his priestly duties. Eventually, after seeing the same thing day after day, year after year, he came to expect the future to be much the same as the past. No doubt, when he was young, he had prayed for a son. But now Elizabeth was past the age of child bearing, and he had come to accept the reality that they would never have children. He could endorse what Solomon wrote: “There is nothing new under the sun.”
But on the day described in Luke 1, something new did happen. The lot fell upon him to offer incense in the Holy Place, a privilege extended only once to a priest, and many never got the privilege. He would have something special to tell Elizabeth about. It wasn’t going to be the “typical day in the Temple.”
When Zechariah got home, he faced the impossible challenge of telling Elizabeth what had happened. Not only had he offered incense in the Temple, but he had talked to an angel who promised they would have a son. Since Zechariah could neither talk nor hear, we have to wonder how he told his story.
History doesn’t always repeat itself. Sometimes God will do something new (Isaiah 43:19). How can we anticipate God’s new things so we’ll be prepared when they happen?