Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Mary' Praise Song 12/14/2014
Dear friend,

May the givingness of our God continue to be the focus of our meditations as we continue on hearing of the beginnings of the Messianic kingdom that is carefully presented through the first two chapters Gospel of Luke. As we hear about and meditate upon upon the favor of God towards mankind through Mary, may the convictions and longings of our hearts break forth in praise toward Him!!!

This week we continue on with the account, as we move from the account of the angel Gabriel visiting Zacharias and Mary to the account of his visit to Mary. We will go through the scripture and add comments as they are needed.

Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

It was in the sixth month of the pregnancy of Elizabeth that the angel came to Mary, who was engaged to be married to Joseph. An contract had been made between the two fathers of the couple who were considered to be married, but were they not permitted to consummate the marriage until after the marriage feast and celebration which was usually about a year after the engagement declaration.

Mary lived in a small town and it is believed that she was between 12-14 years of age as that was the usual age when girls would be given to marriage. She was a teenager living in a small village, having entered into a marriage contract with Joseph, and then one day..... her life really changed, wow, did it ever change. And as it is often said to illustrate a major change in today's world, it reallly did change forever....

28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

One can only imagine what her feelings and emotions were at this appearance of the messenger of God. Hail in the KJV does not give the real sense of the greeting, for a better sense is Greetings, or even better Rejoice!!! She is told that she is to rejoice because God is showering His favor, His grace, as He is with her and that she is blessed among women.

She was firstly kindly assured by the words of the angel, and as she considered (cast in her mind) as to what this was all about, the angel to her not to fear as he repeated that she has found favor with God. After reassuring her of God's grace towards her, and as she wonders what this is all about, the angel then moves to tell Mary what this favor from God entails.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

If the first bombshell was not enough for Mary, this second declaration of as to how God was going to bring favor to humanity through Mary would have been like a lightning bolt. She would become pregnant??? She would have a son? He would be called Jesus/Salvation? He would be great? He would be called the Son of the Highest? The Lord God will give unto Him the throne of his father David, He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever and of His kingdom where shall be no end? These were the words that were told to her: She was going to become pregnant and give birth to the Messiah!!!!!!!! But...but.. how could it be, Joseph and I have not come together and will not until after marriage. How will this happen???? She is not doubting the ability of God to do what has been promised, but she asks how will this pregnancy come about?

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The answer is provided, that the power of the Highest shall overshadow here and through Him she will be with child. And that child shall be called the Son of God. Wow!! Can we imagine what Mary is feeling about now! She must have really been pondering these things in her mind as she tried to sort out the magnitude of what the angel has told her. She perhaps thought: I am going to become pregnant by God and God will be growing in my womb??????

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

She then was given a sign, or could we say an encouragement as she was told about her cousin Elizabeth's pregnancy in her barrenness. No further details were given, but that in her old age she now was with a child. For what is impossible for God to do? Nothing, absolutely nothing. He does what He wants to do for His purposes and chooses whom He will to do so.

By now we can imagine that the heart of Mary is beginning to burn in humility and wonder at how these things could be and that God would look upon her, a teenager from a small village, with such favor.... Embers of warmth were beginning to glow in her innermost being, in her soul and spirit........She responded to all that had been told her to this time by the angel from God...

38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

She humbly submitted to the word of the Lord, calling herself the handmaid of the Lord, a bondslave, one that was submitted to His purposes.

39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

Now she took off to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who she had been told was with child also. It was a trip around 60 miles, which was a long ways, but in her heart she longed to have the companionship and fellowship with her cousin, especially in light of what she had been told by God through the angel. As she entered the house of a speechless Zacharias, and as Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, John leaped in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth. And she was filled with the Holy Spirit.......Through the Holy Spirit, she spoke the things of God....

42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Elizabeth was given revelation from outside herself, for she did not conjure these things up herself, but she spoke as God revealed to her in a supernatural manner. She blessed the mother of Jesus, she blessed the child in her womb and expressed her humility in wonderment as to how blessed she was of God that He would send the mother of Jesus to her!!! She then related to Mary what had happened inside her as a result of hearing Mary's greeting. Elizabeth added that her child John in her womb had not only leaped at hearing the greeting of Mary, but he had done it with joy. Does this not remind us of a later encounter between the same two men, John and Jesus?

KJV John 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

Then Elizabeth poured encouragement into the young mother's heart and soul by telling her that happy is she because she believed: For those things that you have been told will come to pass. As Mary thought on the words of the angel, as she listened to her cousin who was six months pregnant relate of how her child leaped with joy when Mary greeted her, and as she listened to her speak of the certainty of the word of the Lord being accomplished....................

the embers of humility and of wonderment begin to flicker in her soul and spirit, as she continued to "ponder" these things in her heart. The embers begin to burn into flame and then her mouth opened to express that which was in her soul and spirit......She began her song of praise.....

And let us note of how much of her praise are words that are borrowed from the Scriptures of that day, the OT. Mary as a young child had scripture in her mind and in her heart. She knew the prayer of Hannah, the mother of Samuel....She spoke of the mercy of God, of the amazing mercy that God has not given that which we have coming, but He has issued a stay of execution towards us....She understood that God her Saviour was merciful towards her and towards all......But not only His mercy, but He was pouring out His favor, His grace, His love, and all for joy..

46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

She magnified the Lord, and her spirit rejoiced in God her Saviour. She made great the Lord, and rejoiced in God her Saviour. She first lifted up the greatness of God and then rejoiced in Saviour, for she saw her salvation coming to her through this child in her womb, the Messiah.
She demonstrated her humility through recognizing that God her Saviour had shown favor to her through this visitation of grace and from then on all generations would call her blessed because of God's favor towards her. She praised Him that is mighty for what He has done for her great things. She praised Him for his holiness: For He was like no other, He was apart from all sinful humanity, but now He had chosen to reveal Himself in mercy towards her, and through her towards all humanity. As she continues to praise Him, she her heart is enlarged towards all people....

50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

She praises the strength of His arm, of how it takes down the proud in the imagination of their hears, how it puts down the mighty from their seats, and lifts up those of low degree, such as herself. He has filled the hungry with good things, but the rich in themselves He sends away empty.

She then remembers her people, Israel, whom God calls His servant, for through them this Messiah is being brought into humanity. This is all happening because God is merciful as she reminds herself of the mercy that was given through her/our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever. She speaks on behalf of all, by saying "our fathers." She sees beyond herself and the blessing that came to her, for she praised her God for the benefit that came to her people, but also she looked to the blessing that would come upon all future generations of people who were of the seed of Abraham. In other words, those who would believe in what God has said He would do, what God did and what He promises for the future through the Messiah, Christ the Messiah. Her last words were forever......

That is you and I, my friend. You and I. Even as obscure and unimportant that we might consider ourselves, she praised God for the blessing that would come through to us through her bring found in favor of the Lord...She ended her praise as her heart had been poured out, soul and spirit towards her Lord and towards God her Savior..............................just as when we close say the final words of our beloved Lord's Prayer: 'And thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever and forever. Amen."

She spent the next three months with her cousin, her elder sister in the Lord and undoubtedly had much time together to ponder upon the Promise and coming Fulfillment of their God and Saviour.

56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Wow......how blessed we are because of the mercy of God!!! He came in the fulness of time to extend His favor toward us through His Son, Jesus Christ. He chose Mary to be the vessel that would carry Him into fallen humanity in order to redeem us. As we think on this account, may the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in His sight, pur Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

As we magnify Him as our God in our souls and as we rejoice in the salvation that He brought to us through being born as our Saviour, may we also be mindful of the example that Mary offers to us.

She submitted to the word of the Lord.
She was familiar with the OT Scriptures.
She pondered on the things of God that were seen and told to her.

Lord, we magnify You, we rejoice in You our Savior. Thank you for your work of grace in Mary's heart and life. May we be encouraged today through the knowledge of your favor towards us through Your Son, the Messiah.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 14 Dec 2014 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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