The Songs of Christmas: 2. The Song of Elizabeth
song \ˈsȯŋ\ noun
[Middle English, from Old English sang; akin to Old English singan to singular] before 12th century
1 : the act or art of singing
2 : poetical composition
3 a : a short musical composition of words and music
b : a collection of such compositions
4 : a distinctive or characteristic sound or series of sounds (as of a bird, insect, or whale)
5 a : a melody for a lyric poem or ballad
b : a poem easily set to music
6 a : a habitual or characteristic manner
b : a violent, abusive, or noisy reaction 〈put up quite a song〉
7 : a small amount 〈sold for a song〉 — song•like \-ˌlīk\ adjective
Sang/said: Ex. 15:1; Judges 5:11; Sam. 18:7; 2 Chron. 20:21; Rev. 5:9; 15:3
These are inspired poems or songs about the birth of Yeshua our Savior.
I. The Occasion for Her Song (39-41)
I. The Occasion for Her Song (39-41)
39 Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah,
a city of Juda—probably Hebron where the priests lived (see Joshua 20:7; 21:11)
In Hebron the promise was given to Isaac, circumcision was instituted, Abraham had his first land, and David was crowned king
Mary travelled seventy or eighty miles south to the city of Judah where Elizabeth lived and it would have taken her 4-5 days from Nazareth
40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
It is doubtful that Mary spoke about the angels message with her fellow towns people in Nazareth, yet I’m sure she longed to talk about the thing that she must have replayed a thousand times in her mind. She knew no person in the world with whom she could freely converse concerning it but her cousin Elisabeth. Elizabeth was not only mentioned by the angel but was in a similar circumstance as she was. Therefore Mary went to her in haste.
Application: How important it is for people in whom God is working His grace to talk with someone who is in the same condition
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
How exciting it is, especially with a first child, for mom and dad to huddle around mom’s growing belly and feel the baby move. Sometimes it seems that the baby moves in conjunction with a sudden sound or even a voice.
Elizabeth was six months pregnant. She would be entering what we call the 3rd trimester.
A baby is over a foot long and weighs close to 2 pounds, very active, pedaling its feet and pushing them against mommy’s tummy, developed a strong grip, can open its eyes and react to light, vocal chords are functioning, hiccups, hearing is well developed, and could survive outside the womb with intensive care.
“Research shows that a fetus’s heart rate slows in response to its mother’s voice, suggesting that babies are soothed by their mom’s even before birth.” – What to Expect When Your Expecting
How much more exciting for Elizabeth to feel her baby, John, jump in her womb at the sound of Mary’s voice and that moment of joy led to Elizabeth surrendering and submitting to the Holy Spirit with all of her body, soul, and mind. That is what we call the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Often in Scripture, the filling of the Spirit came at the same time as a special event like this.
Ephesians 5:18 (NASB95) 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
One of the marks of a Spirit-filled life is speaking in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
Matthew Henry, “Those that are filled with the Holy Ghost have low thoughts of their own merits, and high thoughts of God’s favours.”
Application: When was the last time you were filled with Holy Spirit? We can be continuously. Every moment can be a special moment for those who are in Christ Jesus.
II. The Lyrics of Her Song (42-45)
II. The Lyrics of Her Song (42-45)
42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
How would the meeting of two women who hadn’t seen each other for a long time go today?
Matthew Henry “How delightful a balm this would be to Mary’s anxious hearts! Instead of suspicion, there is a salutation such as a princess might thankfully receive”
“The saying ‘a joy shared is a joy doubled’ was certainly true for Mary and Elizabeth.”
Notice how direct Elizabeth’s inspired address is. No lengthened introduction, no small talk about health, or weather, news, or even morning sickness, but an immediate mention of the all-important matter which concerned the teen aged Virgin.
Mary was blessed among women not above women. She was a woman just like every other woman, she was made in God’s image (as all women are), she was born as other women are born (not immaculately conceived like all women are), she had a sin nature (like all women are), she was in need of a Savior (like all women are), she was a godly young lady who loved God and was willing to do His will no matter what it was (as many women mentioned in the Scriptures were). But, she was blessed in a special way, not because of her own purity or merit but because God chose her to give her an unprecedented privilege.
Matthew Henry, “What beautiful superiority to envy have we here!” Elizabeth was greatly blessed by God to have miracle child in her old age, but she let’s that go completely when in the presence of one who has been blessed even more than she was.
Application: We need to recognize that not only are we more favored than we deserve, but that we should not be upset that others are more highly favored than we are.
43 “And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?
Elizabeth called Mary’s unborn child “Lord.” He was Lord because of His current nature (diety), and because of who He would become (Messiah).
The Bible never speaks of Mary as “the mother of God.” Yes, Mary was the mother of Jesus in His humanity, and yes Jesus is God, yet God is more than the humanity of Jesus. The deity of Jesus existed from all eternity. Mary was a finite creature with a definite date when she began to exist. She was not the mother of the Father, nor of the Holy Spirit and therefore cannot be the mother of God. She was the mother of second person of the triune God only in His Incarnation.
44 “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.
She had often felt the baby move, but this was a more than ordinary motion which alerted her to expect something very extraordinary
This prenatal cognition gave confirmation of the truth and fulfillment of Gabriel’s prophecy in Luke 1:31–33 (NASB95) 31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
Luke 1:35 (NASB95) 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
Did John sense the presence of Jesus (who was only days into His incarnation)? Did John somehow know that because Jesus’ mother was nearby, that Jesus must be also?
45 “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”
The OT pattern in which the second blessing gives the cause of the first (cf. Gen 14:19–20; Deut 7:14; Ruth 2:20).
The thing that Elizabeth emphasized was Mary’s faith
Matthew Henry, “Believing souls are blessed souls”
1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! 2 How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
4 How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
4 How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You To dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple.
5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion!
12 O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!
15 How blessed are the people who are so situated; How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.
28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
Are you Blessed? Do you believe in Him whom God has sent?
Mary was assured of receiving the promise given to her by the angel Gabriel because she believed.
When we believe, we are assured of the promises given to us in Bible