Lessons In The Life Of Elizabeth
Lessons in The Life Of Elizabeth
TRUST THE SEASONS
-QUICK SYNOPSIS OF LUKE 1:5-80
Zacharias was ministering in the temple. Scripture tells us up front that Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth were both righteousness before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless BUT they had no children.
Zacharias is serving in the temple during his allotted time and an angel of the Lord appears to him. Zacharias is obviously startled and fearful when he sees the angel. The angel comforts him and tells him that the Lord has heard his prayer and he will have a son from Elizabeth. I’ve always loved that. So many before them got it wrong. He wasn’t to use a mistress.
This child would come from Elizabeth. This child will be a son and you will call him John. This kid that you are going to have late in life is going to be amazing, he’s not going to drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even in his mothers womb.
John is to be set apart for the Lord. Scripture goes on and on with what the angel says to Zacharias about this child that will be born to them in their old age.
Zacharias does what any person would do I believe in this situation he asks God a question in Luke 1: 18. How shall I know this? For I am an old man and my wife is well advanced in years.
The angel answers him back with his credentials. God has sent him and that should be enough kinda thing. It’s a Holy Ghost smack down. A tactful smack down but a smack down none the less then there comes another BUT….
Because Zacharias has “questioned” God, he will be mute until the baby is born because he did not believe the angels words.
This visit from the angel happens while Zacharias is serving in the temple. Evidently Zacharias takes a long time in the temple because scripture says folks are waiting on him.When he comes out he is obviously mute. He can not speak. They can tell something has happened a vision perhaps.
Zacharias finishing his time of service in the temple and returns home. Elizabeth conceives once Zacharias returns home.
She hides herself for the first 5 months. (don’t be ashamed when God uses you out of season). We don’t know if she was actually ashamed. Let’s be real being pregnant that late in life must have been a shocker. We do know that she sees it as God is redeeming her story.
We know during this time Gabriel also goes to Mary and let’s her know she will have a son and to name Him Jesus. The angel explains who He will be. His name will be Jesus. Mary questions God but isn’t struck down like Zacharias. We will dig into that a little more later in our study.
The angel even tells her that her relative is pregnant as well. That she is about 6 months pregnant. I love that scripture says that the angel says “with God nothing shall be impossible”. Luke 1:38 tells us Mary is willing to be a part of Gods plan. I love seeing that she has a heart toward God.
Luke 1:39-56 continues on of how Mary and Elizabeth meet.
I believe the “meat” of this story is how that John leaped in Elizabeths belly when he heard Mary’s greeting. When this happened Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. I can’t imagine how this moment felt. We could just sit and marvel at this miraculous moment. There are so many good pieces of this story to dissect.
We know that Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about 3 months. Luke tells us Elizabeth gives birth to John The Baptist and others rejoiced with her. We can assume perhaps that Mary was there for Elizabeths birth because she was around 5 months and Mary stayed for 3 months.
On the day of John The Baptist circumcision they gathered around to hear the name of the child.
It was customary that the child be named after the father. Elizabeth answered and said “no his name will be John”. Remember Zacharias is still mute from doubting. The people present for this occasion kind of argue with her about the choice of name. The people then turn to ask Zacharias. He asks for a tablet and he writes down the name “John”.
Scripture tells us immediately his tongue was loosed and he began to praise God. Of course you can imagine, folks were scared at what had happened. Perhaps some of the people that were present to hear the name given to this child were also waiting outside the temple when Zacharias came out and was mute. I imagine it was quite the moment when they heard the unloosing of his tongue.
All over Judea was a buzz with what had happened.
Luke 1:67 starts us off with Zacharias prophesying over John’s ministry. Zacharias is said to be filled with the Holy Spirit as well and he begins to prophesy. He begins to speak with authority the things he had heard nine months ago in the temple.
If you were unable to have some study time I hope that caught you up to speed and rekindled you memory bank about the story. Let’s delve into some good points that we can apply to our own lives.
FAITHFUL DOESN’T MEAN ABUNDANCE
Luke 1: 5-7
We see that Zacharias and Elizabeth were both righteousness before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless BUT they had no child.
I believe some of us have been sold the religious mindset that if we are holy and do everything we are supposed to do that God will bless us.
If we are blameless that somehow we have twisted the arm of God into blessing us with abundance. This simple scripture debunks that. We don’t serve God for the goods He gives. He isn’t a crystal ball. We serve Him because of who He is. We serve Him because He died for our sins.
The relationship is the prize.
This incorrect foundational teaching that tells us because I am faithful God must bless me can really can mess us up when God doesn’t “come through” like we thought He should.
Living a Godly life does not mean no heartaches and abundance everywhere we turn.
THE BARREN MINDSET
When God uses you out of season.
Many of us have gone through barren seasons. Seasons or areas in our lives where we are just “unproductive”
Elizabeth’s area was front and center. Women’s worth was encapsulated in their ability to birth children.
Was she worthless? Did she feel worthless? Was she viewed as worthless by others? Had she just resigned herself that she would be “barren” all her life?
Are there areas in your life that you have written off believing that you’ll never be productive there? God still revives barren places.
People in the town probably had written off the possibility of her having a child.
Folks may have written you off.
You may have written yourself off.
Don’t be surprised when God puts you in a productive season after you have given up on your dream that He would use you.
This doesn’t only apply to being barren in the area of childbirth. It can be in so many areas.
I love that Luke 1: 37 tells us “with God nothing will be impossible”.
Your barren places might turn out to be your most productive. God never saw Elizabeth as barren. God never sees you as barren. He sees you “in a season”. He sees this season as a part of your story not an unproductive life.
He knew the things He would allow to be birthed from you.You are only limited by your view and faith.
Barrenness is not a life sentence it is a season.
PRODUCTIVE OUT OF SEASON
Elizabeth and Mary both find themselves “productive out of season”. Elizabeths time should have been long over for productivity yet “with God nothing will be impossible”
Mary never had the seed to be productive but “with God nothing will be impossible”. God knows the seasons He chooses to use us in productive ways. Neither one of these instances makes any sense.
God works best when it doesn’t make sense. That’s when we see clearly it’s Him.
Don’t be surprised like Zacharias was when God plops a “productive” season smack dab in the middle of a barren one.
Don’t get caught questioning or doubting.
I have to be honest, I struggled with this because when I read Zacharias question….it doesn’t seem that appalling to me.
I very much view God as a relational God. I talk to Him and ask questions often but when I read this it made me take a step back.. I have to be honest and say that but Gabriel viewed this as “disbelief or doubt”.
God’s response to Zacharias question opened my eyes to how many times my conversation with Him is rooted in doubt.
I wondered just like me Zacharias was simply thinking, “I want Him to explain a little further how this is going to work”. No, that’s not how it works.
I am to believe the impossible without explanation. That’s faith….
I also struggled with the fact that Mary basically asked the same question. The angel dealt with her very differently. She gets an explanation. Why did she get an explanation and Zacharias was stricken mute?
After having our online live study about this very area of this scripture we came to the conclusion that the difference came because Zacharias had been blameless. Perhaps this was the first time Zacharias had questioned. Did God see this as a weakness in his faith? Obviously he did.
Mary’s response to Gods assignment for her is “let it be to me according to your will. Of course she gets an explanation and she responds this way after but God has asked some big things of her and she still says, “let it be to me according to your will”. That is some big stuff to say, “let it be to me according to your will” to.
She didn’t question after the angel dropped that bomb on her. Mary had faith.
Both Elizabeth and Mary’s situation are similar. Elizabeth’s seed is for all intent and purpose “dead”. Mary’s seed had not been activated so neither should produce life.
Haven’t we all been there? When God produced something out of nothing.
I have learned that God deals with us one on one. He gets to do that because He’s God.
I may never understand why God chose to be so harsh “in my eyes” to Zacharias. Perhaps it was the things Zacharias had seen God do. Evidently the faith of Zacharias should have been strong enough to believe.
Elizabeths life was pretty uneventful it seems. Her biggest accomplishment would be someone she had influence over.
Often times we as women, myself included are looking for this grand position in life that has recognition and status.
We have all seen the Pinterest meme that says the most important thing you may ever do in your life is raise a child.
How true this is!
She waited her whole life to have a child. This child would be used mightily for God. Her hands on influence started with her son.
I also love how Zacharias prophesies over the ministry of his son John. We see Zacharias influence start as soon as John comes out of the womb. Oh how I believe we miss an opportunity to lift our children to the Lord and speak blessings and life over them simply because we do not pray.
SIMPLE LIFE LESSONS FROM ELIZABETH
God doesn’t have to bless me.
He chooses to of His good pleasure.
God will use a barren season just like He does a productive season.
God can use my barren places to change the world.
What I see as a barren place doesn’t look barren to God.
God’s view of my life is very different than mine.
My relational conversation with God can expose my doubt. I should start paying more attention to that….
A productive season can come out of no where and not make any sense. I am to not question but to trust His placement in that season.
Gosh that’s tough!
I can expect barren seasons to produce great fruit for Christ.
Influence starts at home.
Influence comes from within.
God gives the influence in the season He chooses.
A barren or productive season can be used mightily to show Gods miraculous power.
Without the barren seasons the productive wouldn’t stand out so much….
TRUST THE SEASONS…