As an outside observer (since I’ve never given birth), it seems few joys in life can compare to that which is felt by a mother who gives birth to a child. I would think this is especially true if that mother has struggled for years to get pregnant. That is Elizabeth’s story!
Elizabeth was the wife of a priest named Zechariah. Both of them served God blamelessly. Elizabeth was also a relative of Mary – a cousin/second cousin – who would later give birth to Jesus.
I. Her Relationship with God… Luke 1:5,6
II. Her Relationship with Her Husband… Luke 1:13,57-61
When we first read of Elizabeth and her husband, they are both very old… and had been unable to ever have children.
In that time and place, a woman’s value was largely measured by her ability to bear children. An aging couple without children faced personal hardship and public shame. If Zechariah had not loved Elizabeth, their childlessness could have been grounds for divorce… and remarriage. But, through many long years, the 2 had clung to each other… and to God.
Life had pretty much settled into a routine… until her husband, Zechariah, came home from his temple shift, unable to speak! But, he was able to gesture or write to her what had happened… and that they would have a son! They were to name him John (and he would become known as John the Baptizer).
In our own lives, we need to remember God is in control of every situation. Beyond any fevered planning and rushed effort on our own, God’s timing and plans are perfect.
When did you last pause long enough to recognize God’s timing in the events of your life?
* God’s timing is always worth waiting for!
III. Her Relationship with Mary… Luke 1:36-45
When Elizabeth was 5-6months pregnant, that same angel appeared to Mary and announced she would give birth to Jesus… and that Elizabeth was already pregnant with a son.
Mary went to visit Elizabeth and, when Elizabeth saw her, her child leaped within her womb! Elizabeth responded by referring to Mary as “the mother of my Lord“.
Elizabeth was pregnant with a long-awaited son; she could have envied Mary, whose son would be greater than her own. Instead, she was filled with joy that the mother of her Lord would come visit her!
Have you ever envied someone God has seemingly singled out for a special blessing? A cure for jealousy is to rejoice with them, realizing God uses His people in the way best suited for His purpose.
The next time you feel a twinge of envy toward someone, remember how Elizabeth rejoiced. Make it your aim to enjoy that person’s blessing.
* Rejoice in good news, wherever you find it!
Elizabeth did give birth to a son, and they did name him John… just as the angel told them to. All her relatives and neighbors shared in her joy.
You can read Elizabeth’s story in Luke 1.