5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years. 11There appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John’.
Once again, God uses unlikely people to fulfill the prophecy and complete his Word in the world. Similar to Abraham and Sarah, an angel delivers the incredible news to Zechariah and Elizabeth that they are going to have a child in their old age. The child will be named John.
In reading and studying this scripture, Elizabeth is the character that spoke to me. Elizabeth was a righteous woman who lived her life following the commandments, and yet she was barren and had no children. Imagine all the years of praying, hoping, and waiting she experienced. How did she feel as she waited year after year for a child that never came?
I am in awe of Elizabeth, and how she continued to live a blameless life even as she suffered the shame and disgrace of being childless in a culture that saw that as God’s lack of favor. When Gabriel brings the miraculous message to Zechariah, Elizabeth wholeheartedly welcomes the news. In verse 25, she says :“This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.”
What an extraordinary example of faithful waiting! This Advent season, I hope to be more like Elizabeth.
Contributed by Pam Gilbreath