Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:26-38 lays out the incredible miraculous story of how The Messiah was to be born. When the angel Gabriel appeared and made this announcement to Mary, this was indeed good news! Mary, a young Jewish woman, like all pious Jews, would have been expecting his arrival. Although the angel did not specifically say Messiah is coming, she would have recognized the things that the angel proclaimed about the child were similar to what Samuel prophesied to King David in 2 Sam. 7:9–16. Like David, she would have known this was Messiah. And oh what a privilege-she was chosen as his mother! O blessed was she among women!
I want to call your attention to a little detail in v. 26-27, “In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David…” Did you catch it? Mary was betrothed or engaged to be married at the time that the angel appeared. We have to understand that an unplanned pregnancy, even with the Messiah, had serious implications for her anticipated future and her very life. According to the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, betrothal is “the act of engagement for marriage in Bible times and was as binding as marriage…Betrothal and marriage comprised a moral and spiritual principle for the home and society. The penalty under the law of Moses for disrupting this principle by adultery, rape, fornication, or incest was death.”
Let me also call your attention to Mary’s response. V. 38 notes, “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Wait, what?! In those few moments Mary, considering the implications of this announcement, said YES! Yes, to the possibility of ridicule and shame on herself and her family for being unmarried and pregnant; yes to the possible loss of her relationship with Joseph and being single the rest of her life; yes, to the possibility of even death for her seeming betrayal of her betrothal commitment. She said yes to this divine interruption!
Maybe you, like Mary, are experiencing a divine interruption, something that has come out of the blue and has seriously disrupted your life as you knew it. Perhaps it’s a sickness or injury, an unplanned pregnancy, a career dream that just will not happen, or maybe even a worldwide Pandemic!
I have often been inspired by Mary’s response to the angel. Obviously to her, the sacrifice to receive this interruption was well worth it. Just think, her obedience allowed her to mother the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Her sacrifice allowed God’s will to be done and she was blessed in the process. Let her example encourage you to surrender when divine interruptions show up. God will be glorified and you will be blessed in the process.
Published on Jan 15 @ 3:41 AM EDT
Author: L.B. Cowman
“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
When we have doubts or are facing difficulties, when others suggest courses of action that are conflicting, when caution dictates one approach but faith another, we should be still. We should quiet each intruding person, calm ourselves in the sacred stillness of God’s presence, study His Word for guidance, and with true devotion focus our attention on Him.
We should lift our nature into the pure light radiating from His face, having an eagerness to know only what God our Lord will determine for us. Soon God will reveal, by His secret counsel, a distinct and unmistakable sense of His direction. It is unwise for a new believer to depend on this approach alone. He should wait for circumstances to also confirm what God is revealing. Yet Christians who have had many experiences in their walk with Him know the great value of the secret counsel of the Lord as a means of discerning His will.
Are you uncertain about which direction you should go? Take your question to God and receive guidance from either the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal. You must get alone with Him, where the lights and the darkness of this world cannot interfere and where the opinions of others cannot reach you. You must also have the courage to wait in silent expectation, even when everyone around you is insisting on an immediate decision or action. If you will do these things, the will of God will become clear to you. And you will have a deeper concept of who He is, having more insight into His nature and His heart of love. All this will be your unsurpassed gift. It will be a heavenly experience, a precious eternal privilege, and the rich reward for the long hours of waiting. DAVID
Keep still! When trouble is brewing, keep still! When slander is getting on its legs, keep still! When your feelings are hurt, keep still till you recover from your excitement at any rate! Things look different through an unagitated eye. In a commotion once I wrote a letter and sent it and wished I had not. In my later years I had another commotion and wrote another long letter; my life had rubbed a little sense into me, and I kept that letter in my pocket until I could look it over without agitation, and without tears, and I was glad I did—less and less it seemed necessary to send it. I was not sure it would do any harm, but in my doubtfulness, I learned reticence, and eventually it was destroyed. Time works wonders!
Wait till you can speak calmly and then perhaps you will not need to speak. Silence is the most powerful thing conceivable, sometimes. It is strength in its grandeur; it is like a regiment ordered to stand still in the mad fury of battle. To plunge in were twice as easy. Nothing is lost by learning to keep still. HANNAH WHITALL SMITH
I do not believe we have even begun to understand the wonderful power there is in being still. We are in such a hurry, always doing, that we are in danger of not allowing God the opportunity to work. You may be sure that God will never say to us, “Stand still,” “Sit still,” or “Be still,” unless He is going to do something. This is our problem regarding the Christian life: we want to do something to be Christians, instead of allowing Him to work in us. Think of how still you stand when your picture is being taken, as the photographer captures your likeness on film. God has one eternal purpose for us: that we should be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29 KJV). But in order for that to happen, we must stand still. We hear so much today about being active, but maybe we need to learn what it means to be quiet. Perhaps we simply need to learn to be still and watch God work out the details that challenged us so greatly and caused us so much distress. You will find that He works wonders if we can just still our hearts and sit before Him until He speaks.
Oh Lord, You know my heart better than I know it myself. You know my struggles and You hold each hope and fear in Your caring hands. Teach me, LORD, to be still and to know that You are God. I trust in You alone. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
An excerpt from the book: "Streams in the Desert: Morning and Evening"
Published on Jan 31 @ 12:46 AM EDT