Elizabeth. I underline her name nine times in 7 different verses. In this second week of Advent, my attention turns to Elizabeth. Her story is tucked neatly inside the experiences of her husband, Zechariah, and her relative, Mary. Elizabeth’s testimony speaks of unexpected favor and the importance of God’s timing.
The angel Gabriel makes his announcement to Mary using Elizabeth’s pregnancy as a time marker in Luke 1:26; we read:
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,
Why was it so important to notate time using her name? The child in her womb, John the Baptist, was to be the forerunner of Jesus. He is the voice in the wilderness crying out to prepare the way for the Lord. The timing of John’s birth is an essential part of God’s salvation plan for the world.
But the phrase intriguing me this week is in Luke 1:25
“In these days.”
For years Elizabeth bore public disgrace due to God’s timing. We don’t know how many years she waited to conceive. Scholars say she was somewhere between 60 and 90 years old. Since I am a woman approaching my 60th birthday, I can vividly imagine her joy at this unexpected favor she has received from the Lord. And finally, in these days, these later days of her life, God looks at her and removes her disgrace.
Elizabeth is a model of righteousness. She can hold her head high as she carries a child, but instead, she chooses five months of seclusion. She doesn’t flaunt her favor; instead, she gives her testimony. “The Lord has done this for me.” May those redeemed of the Lord tell their story. Reading Elizabeth’s tale of redemption from disgrace gives us hope as we wait. Waiting on God is a sacred time. A hope-filled time. And a time to seek seclusion from the world to press into Him.
Anna taught me to fast and pray during Advent. Elizabeth teaches me to wait with expectancy for His unexpected favor. Let us fast, pray, and wait on Him together!