Advent Encounters: Elizabeth

After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
(Luke 1:24-25 ESV)

Sarah laughed.

Hannah surrendered.

Elizabeth hid.

Three women to whom three promises were given exhibited three different reactions.

Sarah overheard the promise of an angel and laughed.

Hannah kept her vow to give her child to the Lord.

Elizabeth remained in seclusion, away from the public in a silent home with a husband who couldn’t speak and probably couldn’t hear because of his impertinent request for a sign.

In the silence, the worship was deafening.

Imagine living in a time when having no children was considered a disgrace. Think of the whispers among the townspeople as the years pass on and there’s still no baby. What thoughts run through your own mind when you know ― as Elizabeth and Zechariah no doubt did ― that those who fear the Lord will be blessed with a full house and there are still only two people at your table?

And now, God promises a child.

And one is on the way even though you’re considered too old.

Of course, you worship the One who made the promise and the miracle.

In the few words that Scripture devotes to her time in seclusion, Elizabeth echoes the words of her ancestor, Rachel, as she acknowledged God for showing her favor and taking away her disgrace from among the people.

Another promised son with a God-designed destiny.

Sarah’s son Isaac became the father of Jacob, whose sons became the leaders of the tribes of Israel.

Hannah’s son was Samuel the priest who anointed Saul and David, shepherding the nation through its early days under the rule of kings.

And Elizabeth’s son would have the greatest honor of all though he would never take it for himself. Years later, people would be drawn to him ― a prophet in the desert declaring the coming of the kingdom of God, calling on all to repent. He would declare the coming of the Messiah.

This Throwback Thursday post originally appeared on a previous blog.

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