Saturday, August 17, 2013

Moms in the Bible - Elizabeth


Chapter 3 – Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist

Did you know that every male descendant of Aaron (Moses’ brother) was automatically a priest? Such was Zechariah, husband of Elizabeth. To be the wife of a priest a woman had to be of absolutely pure Jewish lineage and it was even more elite if the wife was also of Aaron’s line, which Elizabeth was. That’s the good news; the bad news was
that Elizabeth was barren.

The Bible tells us that both Zechariah and Elizabeth were upright in the sight of the Lord and observed all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly. But they had no children and there was no hope of having any since they were well along in years. Still, they did hope. In fact they prayed for children. God heard their prayer and the angel Gabriel spoke to Zechariah telling him that the Lord had heard and Elizabeth would conceive and they should name their son John. The angel told Zechariah quite a bit more about John’s character and mission, but when Zechariah did not believe it right away Gabriel sealed his lips so that Zechariah could not speak at all for the next nine months.

Elizabeth was undoubtedly ecstatic to become pregnant, finally. But sharing this joy with a silent husband must have been maddening. If she had known all the wonderful things ahead – that many would rejoice in the birth, that her son would be great in the sight of the Lord, that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth, that he would bring many of the people of Israel back to the Lord, that he would make ready the way for the Messiah to come – imagine how much more joyful she would have been. But all those things which the angel had told her husband remained hidden from her. Or were they?

When it was time for her newborn son to be named (and circumcised) everyone expected the babe to be named after his father, who still wasn't talking. Elizabeth spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” How did she know? It wasn't until then that her husband’s lips were unsealed and he told all of the wonderful prophecy including that his son should be called John. Interesting.

And so Elizabeth became the mother of John the Baptist.


Next Saturday – Eunice