The Coming Anticipated

MEMORY SELECTION: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savor.” —Luke 1:46,47


IN RESPONSE to the good tidings which she had just received, and in anticipation of the approaching glorious event, Mary traveled to the home of her cousin Elizabeth to share with her the news that had so gladdened her heart.

That must have been a joyful meeting between those two women. That joy was so real that the yet unborn baby John leaped for joy in Elizabeth’s womb. And we still marvel at the remarkable providences of God in respect to Mary and Elizabeth in connection with the great plan of salvation that he was working out for the recovery of man from sin and death.

Luke has recorded Mary’s song of thanksgiving, of which our memory selection is a portion. In consideration of that song we sense that every fiber of her being wished to “magnify” or declare the greatness of God, and the spirit of her heart was full of rejoicing. We feel the depth of humility as it is accented in her words, “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (vs. 48) We acknowledge her degree of appreciation and gratefulness that is demonstrated in the phrase, “For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name.” (vs. 49) Bearing in mind the sacredness of God’s name among the Israelites, we note the emphasis on the expression, “Holy is his name.” And we observe her desire to reverence God, as it is expressed in the subsequent passage (vs. 50), which says, “And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation.” The word “fear” is used for a Greek word which means, by analogy, “to revere,” and it has been so translated by Rotherham.

The next passage refers to the strength of God’s arm. There are numerous passages of Scripture that use this figure of speech to declare the almighty power of God; for example, Psalm 89:13, “Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is Thy hand, and high is Thy right hand.” Mary was evidently aware of these references.

From this point on, Mary’s song of thanksgiving takes on a deeper and more prophetic meaning. She says, “He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.” (vss. 51-53) The significance of this statement lies in the fact that Jesus came not from the royal reigning family of Solomon, but, through his mother, from the obscure and humble line of Nathan. Luke the historian traces Mary’s lineage to Nathan (3:23,31). It is, however, necessary to understand from these passages that Jesus was the adopted son of Joseph, and that Joseph was the son-in-law of Eli, who was Mary’s father (see Diaglott footnote and appendix). Matthew, in turn (1:6,16), follows Joseph’s family back to Solomon.

Although the promise had been given to Solomon that he should be the one to receive the throne, conditions of faithfulness were imposed. (I Chron. 28:5-9) Those conditions were not met, and the ruling family of Solomon was completely overturned and the promise given to Nathan.—Ezek. 21:25-27

The final passages in this song are also significant: “He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.” (vss. 54,55) The promises given to Abraham had endured the test of time. The Jews believed in the covenant that had been made in ancient times, and they trusted that somehow or other its blessings would extend to their own life and time. The Israelites experienced much trouble during many long centuries; still God had always been with them. And although the ten tribes had separated themselves from the other two, which were later called Judah, yet God had continued to bless all of his people as one nation. Those promises would surely endure forever.

Mary would not only have the privilege of bearing the Christ child, but she could also assist him in understanding those things that pertained to his unusual birth, perfect nature, and special circumstances in life. Her song of thanksgiving reflects the sentiments that Hannah sang when Samuel was born (I Sam. 2:1-10).

Dawn Bible Students Association
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