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A Word To Women

Elisabeth is an outstanding Christian woman. Luke 1 reveals all we know of the one who was chosen to be mother to the forerunner of the Messiah. She was a descendent of Aaron, and married to a priest called Zacharias. They lived in the hill country of Judah, probably in Hebron, the city where the priests lived.

Elisabeth was a justified woman. Both she and Zacharias are described as being “righteous before God” (Luke 1:6). Elisabeth undoubtedly grew up in a very ‘religious’ home, but there was a time when she realised her sinfulness and trusted the Lord for salvation. Christ had not died on the cross but Elisabeth looked forward in faith to His substitutionary death. Like Abraham, Elisabeth believed God and it was counted unto her for righteousness (Romans 4:3). As a justified woman the Lord looked on Elisabeth as “blameless” (Luke 1:6) because the righteousness of Christ had been imputed to her.

Elisabeth was a sanctified woman. We read that she walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord (Luke 1:6). A changed heart meant a changed life. Elisabeth was faithful in her attendance at God’s house, and she sought in all areas of her life to walk according to God’s laws. The work of sanctification was evident as she grew more like her Saviour.

Elisabeth was a praying woman. She had prayed that she might be blessed with a son, but as age advanced she may have felt the Lord had refused her. As it happened, the Lord’s answer was, “Wait”. Unlike Sarah, Elisabeth does not seem to have been weak in faith. Prayer is essential to our Christian walk and we should not limit God by unbelief.

Elisabeth was a blessed woman. Joy flooded her soul as she contemplated holding her own child. John would be a unique man of God, of whom Christ said, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11). It seems unlikely that Elisabeth lived to see the martyrdom of her son, saving her the grief that Mary would experience.

Elisabeth was given the gift of prophecy. In Elisabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy, Gabriel appeared to Mary, her young cousin. Mary was told that she would have a Son by miraculous conception, and that her child would be the Son of the Highest, and would reign forever. Instructed to visit Elisabeth, Mary would have greatly benefited from talking with her wise and godly cousin. Even as Mary greeted Elisabeth, Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost and poured forth praise, acknowledging that Mary was, “the mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43). It could be said, as to Peter, “flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17). Do we listen for God’s voice when we read His word, when we attend His house and when we pray?

Elisabeth stood firm for the Lord even when Zacharias’ faith stumbled. When their child was born, and family and friends gathered for his circumcision, they assumed the boy would be named after his father. Elisabeth made it clear that the baby was to be called John. Zacharias affirmed by writing, “His name is John” (Luke 1:63). God immediately restored his speech so that he could join in the praise to Him and prophesy of John and his future ministry.

Elisabeth is an example worthy of our imitation. Life was by no means always easy for her, but through it all she served the Lord with joy.
Olive Maxwell.