“ … 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
Since the fall in Genesis 3, God was working His plan of salvation. Over months, years, and centuries, God’s plan moved firmly and advanced sovereignly. Nothing could thwart it (Job 42:2).
One part of God’s plan was John the Baptist, who was to be a forerunner to Jesus – “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Luke 3:4). God knew Zacharias and Elizabeth would be John’s parents, He heard their longings for a child, and He knew they were advancing in years. But because all things are possible with God, He wasn’t (and isn’t) concerned about their old age or any other alleged “obstacles.” There was a kingdom calendar to uphold, and sovereign timing. Before Zacharias could be John’s father, he had to have a close encounter with an angel.
I love the seemingly insignificant detail in Luke 1:9. Commentary says there were so many priests that each only burned incense for the people once (daily, for up to one week, and then never again). On a seemingly “random” day (many think it was a Sabbath), Zacharias went to the temple to burn incense because he was “chosen by lot” – a seemingly random method. But was it? Behind “the lot” was the sovereignty of God.
Have a Godly desire that’s burning in your heart? Continually pray and wait with an active waiting, but hold loosely. Things that seem insignificant or circumstantial or “by lot” may not be. At just the right time, God will continually advance His good and pleasing and perfect will. Be blessed in that assurance.