If you did a survey on the street about key characters in the Christmas story, the name Zachariah would not likely rise to the top of the list, yet in Luke’s account, his story fills almost half of the first chapter!
An angel appeared to Zechariah and told him that he would have a baby and his son would prepare the way for the Messiah. Since Zechariah and his wife were both already senior citizens, Zechariah expressed some doubt. “How can I know this will happen?” The angel replied that the priest would be unable to speak until the promise was fulfilled. Many commentators feel the priest was also deaf during this period.
So Zechariah settled in to wait. Nine long months inched by. Finally the baby was born, but Zechariah’s voice did not return. Day after day, Zechariah woke up still unable to talk. He likely reviewed in his mind all the angel had said. Would he be without a voice until this child grew up and actually led his people back to the Lord?
The truth is, Zechariah had no idea when his wait would be over and his voice would return.
Zechariah did not waste his time during this waiting period. The list of cross references in your Bible next to Luke 1:68-79 is like a radioactive tracer indicating the prophetic passages the priest read while preparing for his son’s birth: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah, and even Malachi. When Zechariah’s voice returned on the 8th day, he was ready to teach his son, John the Baptist, about the coming Messiah.
As you are waiting for God to answer your prayer, why not use the time to study His Word?