My dear fellow Proverbs 31 women in progress,
I hope you’ve been well since my last post. Today, I decided to explore the life of another worthy woman of the Bible and I picked Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and cousin of Mary and Jesus. Let’s explore her life right now!
Meaning: God is my oath
Family: the Bible tells us that Elizabeth descends from Aaron. She is married to a priest named Zacharias, and Mary and Jesus are her cousins. In her old age, she bore a son named John who would be the “voice in the desert” announcing the coming of Jesus as the Messiah
Her qualities: she was righteous before God and respected the laws of hospitality
Her sadness: not being able to carry a child during the major part of her life
Lived during the Biblical Times (before the birth of Jesus)
Elizabeth’s story is introduced to us in the Gospel of Luke through her husband Zacharias, who was a priest of the division of Abijah.
The Gospels tell us that Elizabeth and Zacharias both observed God’s commandments and were righteous before God. However, to much of their sadness, Elizabeth was barren at the beginning of this story.
One day, Zacharias’ lot fell on him to burn the incense at the altar. While he was executing his task, an angel of the Lord appeared to him. Zacharias was afraid, but the angel told him:
Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
However, Zacharias didn’t believe what the angel told him. He then asked how could this happen, since he and his wife were old people. The angel told him that as he didn’t believe his word, Zacharias would be mute until all these events would be fulfilled.
When he came out of the temple, people understood that he had a vision but he couldn’t speak anymore. When he completed his service, he went back home to his wife.
After these events, Elizabeth became pregnant but she decided to hide during five months, saying:
Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people
Her cousin Mary visited her when she heard that the Lord had been good to her. But Mary already received the visit of the angle Gabriel and she was pregnant of Jesus!
Elizabeth and Mary
When Elizabeth saw Mary, her baby moved in her womb and she became inspired by the Holy Spirit, greeting Mary:
Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Mary recalled how good God is to his people and how he always keep his promises. She stayed with her three months, probably to take care of Elizabeth who was about to deliver her baby, and came back to Nazareth.
Then the day Elizabeth delivered her baby, all her family and neighbors came to rejoice with her.
However, when her baby was circumcised on the eighth day, as it was the tradition, people started to say that he should be named after his father Zacharias. However, Elizabeth stood up and said that her baby’s name would be John.
She persisted even if people told her that nobody in her family had this name. They proceed to ask for Zacharias’ opinion and asked about him, making signs to him.
Zacharias asked for a writing tablet and wrote that the baby’s name was John. Then, his tongue loosed; he praised God and prophesied on the destiny of his son.
Well, this is a story that ends well!
- It is said that Elisabeth and Mary were cousins – and that means that John (the new Elijah) and Jesus (the Messiah) are cousins too! This family is highly favored by God, if you want my opinion…
- A tradition tells that Zacharias was murdered
What we can learn from Elizabeth
Elizabeth’s story shows us that God always keeps His promises towards His people. When we pray about something, if He decided to grant you that, be sure that He will – even if it takes time. Just be assured that God’s time is not men’s time. God knows what’s good for us and we should believe that He has our best interests in His heart.
Therefore, we shouldn’t be angry if God does not answer our prayers quickly or if God does not answer favorably – He knows what’s best for us! But we have to believe it and we should not be skeptical.
Well, that’s all for Elizabeth’s life lessons! What do you think we can learn from her story? Please share your points of view in the comments below!