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.” 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! 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 1:18–20, NLT)
Zechariah got the sign he asked for. Perhaps not the sign he really wanted.
I don’t fault Zechariah. As I try to put myself in his place, I imagine that he did better than I would have. He was told 1) you’re going to have a baby in your old age and 2) this will be no ordinary baby. Perhaps he thought his once-in-a-lifetime offering of the incense in the sanctuary had gone to his head.
Even if he is slow to accept it, God is doing something brand new. The temple venue at evening offerings under the auspices of a token leadership largely gone over to the enemy is the perfect place and time for this start. Keep your eyes open. It’s gonna get hairy.