Sunday, November 21, 2010


    Do you every feel like God does not hear your prayers? Are there times in your life when you ask, “Where are you, Heavenly Father?” “Are you really listening? Elizabeth the wife of the priest Zacharias was a woman whose prayers were unanswered for many years. However, she was a woman of great spiritual maturity whose decades of deep disappointment strengthened her instead of destroying her faith. She taught us to trust in God and to wait. As we can be sure that God’s answer will come and in a way that we never imagined!
    Like her husband Zacharias, Elizabeth came from a line of priestly families, the same priestly line that the Messiah would come from. Luke took great care to describe that she and her husband were “both righteous before God, walking in all commandments of the Lord, blameless”. This description teaches us the first thing we need to know about having our prayers answered. Elizabeth and Zacharias were not said to be sinless or perfect but that they kept the commandments and had true hearts dedicated to the Lord. 

    Elizabeth “had no child, was barren, stricken in years” and must have yearned deeply for a baby of her own. I imagine her fasting and praying with great supplication. Sometimes even begging for peace and inspiration to follow God’s will. Despite her disappointment, she relied on God’s love and continued to celebrate his blessings.

   On one such occasion, her husband was chosen to participate in the temple ordinances. What pride she must have felt as this important responsibility came upon him. While Zacharias was in the temple he was visited by the angel Gabriel who told him that Elizabeth would soon bear a son “who would be great in the site of the Lord”. In fact, Elizabeth was selected by God to give birth to John the Baptist who would prepare the way for the Messiah. John would also become a powerful missionary and Jesus would call him the greatest of all the prophets.

    Zacharias was overcome with this news and found it too hard to believe, even coming from a heavenly messenger. Because of his lack of faith, he lost his ability to speak. Elizabeth however, believed in miracles and soon became pregnant, praising God for taking away her “reproach” or barrenness. 
     In Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy she was visited by her cousin Mary. Elizabeth was given divine revelation to know that Mary was also with child. When the two women met, Elizabeth’s unborn baby responded by suddenly moving and kicking in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the spirit and in a moment of penetrating clarity pronounced a blessing upon Mary.
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that thee would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” 

    First of all, I love that Mary would come to her. Mary a pregnant teenager, with more hopes and fears in her heart than we can imagine. Her older cousin must have been kind, understanding and capable of good advice.  At just the sight of her, Elizabeth’s blessing gave Mary the confirmation, courage and peace that she was searching for.  Elizabeth realized that Mary had been chosen to give birth to the Messiah and she rejoiced in it. What comfort her words must have given to Mary. Over the next three months, Elizabeth would continue to encourage and help Mary prepare for her Mission. The birth and miracle of Elizabeth’s son would also teach Mary that “With God, nothing shall be impossible.”
    At a time when Elizabeth was settling down to a quiet old age, her life took an unexpected turn. She became pregnant and bore the son she had always hoped for. And God had answered her prayer at the most opportune time. Not only would her son assist with the coming of the Messiah but she would assist Christ’s mother for his coming too.
    Elizabeth story teaches us that answers will come from God. They will come in a way and in a time that will be most enjoyed and for our benefit. I learn from her that, prayers are worth waiting for.

1 comment:

Julian said...

Enjoyed your post-came across it as I was looking for a picture of Elizabeth and Mary to illustrate a powerpoint on Luke 1 for family devotions. You might like to hear some of the questions and answers.
What does the unborn John’s leaping for joy tell us?
Even the unborn baby can hear and has feelings and spiritual gifts!
What does Elizabeth’s confession prove?
That the Christ in Mary’s womb is in fact the Lord!
What do you think about Mary’s confession?
It typifies true worship-feeling and saying God is great and rejoicing in Him….’Man’s chief aim is…..’
And she rejoices in how God has lifted her up
Elizabeth says much about the ministry of Christ and work of God eg
He humbles the proud and mighty-Neb! Herod!
God’s mercy is on them that ---- Him from generation to generation.
Fear-reverence and respect
He fills the ------- with good things?
Hungry-Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness-they shall be filled.
She mentions the promise to Abraham-what?
Through him all nations shall be blessed