Luke 1:6-10

Luke 1:6 (KJB)
And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

The fact that both of them were righteous before God states without question that this couple had become saved. They also walked in all the commandments and ordinances. There is only one way that a person can walk in obedience to all the commandments and ordinances, and that is to be in Christ who fulfilled the requirements of Godís holy law. (Rom 10:4 KJV) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. The ordinances would be the tenets of the established ceremonial law.

Luke 1:7 (KJB)
And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

At this point they had no children. The fact that they were devoted to God did not change the fact they had reached old age without children. In Judaism, it was thought that if a couple did not have children, then they were under some kind of judgment from God. Jewish rabbis had believed that there were seven people who were cut off from God. Topping the list was a Jew without a wife and a married Jew who had no children. As spiritual leaders in their community, they probably thought they had failed to set the example for having children. However, that was about to change.

Luke 1:8 (KJB)
And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,

I am sure that for many years he prayed for a child but here he gives us a good example. He continued to serve God in the temple even though he and Elizabeth were probably looked on as being cursed. Whenever we seek the Lord for something, we continue in the ministry He has given us while we wait for His answer. In this case the answer came after many years.

Luke 1:9 (KJB)
According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

The order in which each group or course served was drawn by lot for the purpose of finding Godís will as to who would serve. During the time of these events, there were about 20,000 priests in Palestine and that would mean that each priest would only have the opportunity to serve one time in their life. Zacharias was chosen to burn incense on the Golden Altar. It was done twice a day, at 9 AM and at 3 PM. He would take burning coals from the altar of burnt offerings and then ascend the steps to the holy place and then spread them on the Golden Altar. He would place the pan above it and then place in it special incense which would be symbolic for the prayers and praises of Godís people. Zechariah would also, in his prayers, pray for the coming of Messiah.

Luke 1:10 (KJB)
And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

At the time of the burning of the incense all the Israelite males would be gathered in the outer court of the temple. Since there was a multitude, this probably happened on a Sabbath or another high day in the Jewish year. It is something that God picked the holiest place in Jewish worship to begin the events leading up to the coming of the Messiah. (Psa 141:2 KJV) Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.