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The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth is an integral part of the Christmas story and birth of Jesus. We hear the details every Christmas season …

  • they were righteous,
  • they were childless,
  • they were old,
  • Zechariah questioned,
  • he was struck mute,
  • Elizabeth’s baby jumped in her belly at Mary’s arrival,
  • Elizabeth spoke a word of affirmation and prophecy over Mary.

It’s all beautiful and amazing to read, each and every year.

Yet the other morning, in the yet dark and stillness of the day, I returned again to read the familiar details as told in Luke and one little detail drew my attention.

“One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense.” (Luke 1:8-9, NLT)

“… he was chosen by lot…”

It was common in those days for decisions to be made by casting lots. Today we might equate this as a roll of the dice. There were twenty four order of priests, who took turns serving in the Temple and their turn was determined by the casting of lots. There was a large number of priests and so this privilege most likely only occurred once, one time in a priest’s life.

So was this happenstance? Was Zechariah chosen by accident? Did he just happen to be “in the right place at the right time”?

“We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.” (Proverbs 16:33, NLT)

God worked out every detail with precision. He was in the timing, aligning the lots, the angels, the shepherds, the census. the inn, the people, and the women so that His plan would unfold to the world He loved so deeply in utter perfection.

Zechariah, chosen by lot, speaks to me of the very manner in which God works in each of our lives as well. Each day does not occur by accident. There are no coincidences in our lives.

God is sovereignly at work in the lives of His people today as well. Our lives are not randomly playing out for God is in control of every occurrence.

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”
– Corrie ten Boom
Every detail carefully planned.
“Be still and know that I am God!”
Psalm 46:10, NLT


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Today I am joining … Porch Stories and Let’s Have Coffee and Woman to Woman and Recharge Wednesday .