Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
(The Advent: Faces within the Christmas Story.)
Luke 1:23-25 (NIV)
When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
Luke 1:23-25 (MSG)
When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home. It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. “So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!” she said.
“When his time of priestly service was finished, he returned to his home. Now after this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and for five months she secluded herself completely, saying, “This is how the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor on me, to take away my disgrace among men.”” -AMPLIFIED
There is not much told to us about Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife. Everything that is mentioned about her is contained in this first chapter of Luke. We can glean little bits of information that give us a good picture of what sort of woman she was here in Luke though.
1.) Elizabeth was from the line of Aaron. This tells us that she came from a family of priests. She was also married to a priest. This gives us a very good idea of what her upbringing and life would have been like.
2.) We are told that Elizabeth and Zechariah were righteous, honorable, godly people. They diligently kept God’s commands. In fact, Luke tells us this fact about them, “Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God.” -Luke 1:6 (MSG)
3.) We are told that at this point in her life Elizabeth was old. Scripture does not tell us how old; suffice it to say that it is implied that she was beyond the normal childbearing age. (Some theologians feel that both Elizabeth and Zechariah were in their 60’s.)
4.) We are also told that Elizabeth was barren; unable to have children. This was definitely a negative stigma during this time period. A woman unable to conceive was looked upon with reproach. It was thought that those women and those families had found disapproval with God. Let us take note of the fact that God allowed many righteous women to be barren for a time, in order to miraculously use them for His glory.
5.) When Elizabeth miraculously became pregnant in her old age she was ecstatic! While the thought of having a child in our senior years for many of us would be scary, shocking and even depressing (for some folks); Elizabeth was thrilled. The Message Version uses this phrase that truly conveys her feelings, “relishing her pregnancy”. The Voice brings it across in this way, “I have lived with the disgrace of being barren for all these years. Now God has looked on me with favor. When I go out in public with my baby, I will not be disgraced any longer.” -Luke 1:25 (VOICE)
6.) Elizabeth was kinswoman or cousin to Mary the mother of Jesus. We find Mary coming to visit with Elizabeth during her seclusion. These two families would hold great significance to one another and their stories would overlap.
7.) Elizabeth was sensitive to the moving of God. We can see this fact from Luke 1:41-45 (NIV) ” When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Just from this one chapter we can gather so much information about this godly woman of God. Elizabeth should definitely be an example of one who continued to faithfully trust and serve God while waiting on the Lord for an answer to her prayer. She is the epitome of this verse from Hebrews, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” -Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
Never give up! God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Trust HIM!
Lord, help me to be as Elizabeth was; one who diligently, faithfully seeks to serve you. Help me to trust you with every prayer that I have lifted up to you through the years. I want to be one who patiently waits on you for the answers that I know you are already working on. Help me to trust you more, Lord.