Elizabeth means 'God is my oath' and 'a worshiper of God.' And today we meet a woman who lived out the meanings of her name this humble woman was chosenby God to play a most important role in His final countdown to the Savior's appearance.
From the Heart of God's Word...
As you work your way through these verses from Luke 1, keep three things in mind -
first, a theme of Luke's Gospel is that nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)
Second,. God's will is always perfect; and
Third, so is His Timing (Luke 1:20)
1. Luke 1:5-7
Who is the couple introduced in in verse 5, and what is said about each?
How is this godly couple discribed in verse 6?
2. Luke 1:8-22
As we key in on Zacharias , what miracle occured in his life in verse 11?
And what information and instruction was Zacharias given (verse 13)?
Briefly, how is the child to be described (verses 14-17)
What questions of unbeliefe did Zacharias ask... and how did the angel reply (verses 18-20)?
What happened when Zacharias came out of the temple ( verses21-22)?
3. Luke 1:23-25 In the end what happened to...
From Your Heart...
- Character- Barrenness apparently carried a reproch in the culture of this couple's day (Luke1:25). In spite of their personal difficulty and sorrow, how is the character of this godly couple described (verse 6)?
How do you, dear reader, tend to cope with difficult, discouragement, and disappointment? How consistant are you in your devotion to God during times of adversity? And how does Elizabeth and Zacharias's steadfast devotion over decades of blighted hopes show you a better way?
- Consecrated- As we learned earlier, Elizabeth means 'Consecrated' and consecrated means 'set apart unto God.' What did the angel Gabriel say about the son Elizabeth was to bear (verse15)?
This is a reference to a Nazirite vow- John was to be a Nazerite, a person separated completely and consecrated unto the Lord (Numbers 6:2-8).
Just for fun note the names of these famous sons who were also Nazerites, consecrated to the Lord from the womb:
Manoah's wife's son in Judges 13:7-24
Hannah's son in 1 Samuel 1:11, 20
Now copy 1 Peter 1:15 -16 15'but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy.'
Do you see yourself as consecrated to God? As dedicated to Him for his purposes? As separated from the world for God's use? As a believer, you are, whether you see it or not! What a difference should this fact make in your daily life?
- Chastised- there's no doubt that Zacharias was chastised by Gabriel for his unbelief! what was the consequences of his unbelief (verse 20)
Imagine! the Most exciting thing in your life has just happened... and you can't tell a soul! What similar temptations to unbelief do you face? And how should you be responding with greater faith?
- Conception- How did Elizabeth respond to her conception (verse 24)? And what did she say in her heart (verse 25)?
Nurturing a Heart of Humility...
Life is difficult- it's a fact! And 'God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not the choice. You must take it. the only choice is how.' Elizabeth and Zacharias show us the how-
the proper, godly, humble response to discouragement, disappointment, and blighted dreams. What can we learn from them? we must...
- Nurture a heart of Prayer (Luke 1:13).
- Nurture a Heart of Obedience (Luke 1:6).
- Nurture a Heart of Service (Luke1:8).
- Nurture a Heart of Humility.
Elizabeth was finally given a child- in God's timing and for God's purposes... and in a miraculous way! And when God blesses her, hers was a humble response. She acknowledged and blessed the Lord. Elizabeth gave thanks and recognition and glory to God.
But what if Elizabeth and her husband had never received the child they prayed for and hoped for? They would probably have continued to be the same couple they had always been and had become- a couple whose hearts were humbly set on prayer, obedience, and service.
Could the same be said of you, dear one?"