Bible Ballistics: BBs #318 An Open And Obedient Heart???
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel
was sent from God
unto a city of Galilee,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man
whose name was Joseph,
of the house of David;
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said,
Hail, thou that art highly favoured,
the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him,
she was troubled at his saying,
and cast in her mind
what manner of salutation
this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her,
Fear not, Mary:
for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive
in thy womb,
and bring forth a son,
and shalt call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great,
and shall be called
the Son of the Highest:
and the Lord God shall give
unto him the throne
of his father David:
33 And he shall reign
over the house of Jacob
and of his kingdom
there shall be no end
34 Then said Mary unto the angel,
How shall this be,
seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered
and said unto her,
The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee,
and the power of the Highest
shall overshadow thee:
therefore also that holy thing
which shall be born of thee
shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth,
she hath also conceived a son in her old age:
and this is the sixth month with her,
who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord;
be it unto me according to thy word.
And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:26-38
Here we have the account of Mary the mother of Jesus, and I’d like us to simply consider the wonder of this amazing encounter. What was so special about Mary? What can we learn from this precious young woman—probably a mid-teen aged girl? Yet God chose her to bear His Son. Luke tells us that God’s assessment of the young woman was clear, “thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women”!
Highly favored? Why was Mary “highly favored” by God? In scripture “favored” can mean someone or something ‘looks’ good, usually referred to as ‘well-favored’, but here I think God is revealing to us a picture of a Proverbs 31 woman. A woman (although young) who had a heart set on God. Mary wasn’t a lettered scholar, or a queen like Esther, or even one who married a man of means like Ruth, but she was a woman who God saw as worthy of His favor—the favor to be selected as the vessel, the mother of the Messiah. We also see that The Lord was with her. She was already yielded to The Lord’s work in her heart. Just as Old Testament Joseph was carried into slavery yet responded in a godly manner in all his ways, for his character was already established as one sensitive and open to God’s work in his life. In the same way Mary reveals a heart that was already set on God.
Here we find a virtually nameless, unimportant, seemingly unprepossessing (Look it up, but it’s the opposite of ‘favored’!) young teenager, yet she had already made her choice to be devoted to The Almighty God of the universe. Her blessing came out of her availability not any seeming worldly qualifications. Mary was fit before God, and what man thought was unimportant. How about us? Are we so busy striving to impress the world, our co-workers, our peers, our church family, or even our physical family that we have missed the opportunity to be found “highly favoured” before God? Do we focus on things rather than character?
How do we know Mary’s character? I think we can see her character in her responses. She could have run away like Jonah did when he was given an unpleasant task (See Jonah 1:3). Mary could have lied about her situation like Abraham did (See Genesis 12:11 & 20:2). But Mary, even in her fear at the sight of this angel of God, received his words of peace and yielded herself to hear what this messenger had to say. Not only did she hear the message but after asking questions of qualification (not questions in unbelief as Zechariah did in chapter 1) to know how she ought to proceed, she gave herself totally to God to accomplish HIS purposes as HE saw fit.
“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Verse 38
Mary was willing to endure whatever God had for her, a young virgin teenager, even though Joseph would know it wasn’t his child; her parents would have been skeptical at the least—God did it? Yet Mary stepped out in faith and committed herself to whatever God would do. She trusted God more than her circumstances or those around her. How would she tell her mom and dad? What would Joseph say? What would the neighbors think? The scandal could cause a stir, yet like Isaiah she said, “Here am I; send me”! (Isaiah 6:3)
What have we said to God? Have I been too busy to say anything to God? Have I said no? Have I said, “Lord, I’m just too busy”? Have we said, “I’m not qualified”? Have we said, “Let someone else do it”? So many answers, but only ONE is pleasing to God. Mary said it, Isaiah said it, Joseph said it, Abraham said it, Jesus said it—will you say YES to God’s call on your life? It’s a question that only you can answer. But one thing to consider is, do you want to be favored, accompanied by and blessed by The Lord? Well, if you do then dig into His Word, spend time with Him in prayer and devotion; listen to His Spirit as a child of God should, and then just say YES!!! “Here am I” Lord!
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.” Psalms 21:2
“And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.” Isaiah 49:5
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a