In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." (Luke 1:39-45)
Prophecy is where God chooses and uses someone to speak through them. It happens in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament and in our day.
Prophecy is sometimes foretelling the future, predicting future events. About 25 percent of our Bible was prophetic when it was written, predicting future events. Not all prophecy, however, is about what's going to happen. A declaration of truth, insight, rebuke, or encouragement can also be considered prophecy as it is a timely word from God. Sometimes, prophecy is a personal message; God wants someone to know something, so he sends a messenger to deliver a word to that individual. This is the kind of prophecy we see from Elizabeth.
Where did Elizabeth's prophecy come from? In verse 41, Luke tells us, "Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit takes this woman and her deepest desires and brings them to life: "And she exclaimed with a loud cry, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!'" (Luke 1:42) Spirit-filled Elizabeth declares children to be a blessing. This flies in the face of modern thinking, as God's word often does. Our culture tends to treat children like a curse, causing stretch marks, sleep deprivation, and expenses to their parents. But the Bible is clear: Children are not a bane, but a blessing. As Psalm 127:3 says, "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Elizabeth continues to honor Mary, which is unusual since it was customary for the younger to honor the older. And not only does she honor Mary, Elizabeth also honors Mary's baby. Elizabeth is the first person in the Bible to call Jesus Christ "Lord"! Even though he is just recently conceived, Elizabeth rejoices to enter into the presence of Jesus. The baby is the Lord, and she worships him right there in his pre-born state.
"And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Elizabeth says (Luke 1:43). She hasn't seen him walk on water, raise the dead, heal people, die on a cross, or resurrect from death—she hasn't even seen him be born. But already Elizabeth is astounded to come near Jesus, and already she worships him and claims him as her Lord. Being in the presence of the Lord was all that she and we need to be inspired to worship him.
Do you sincerely consider children to be a blessing from the Lord? If not, why not?
Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor and the author of many books, including Spirit-Filled Jesus, which you can order here. He currently pastors The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family. For all of pastor Mark Driscoll's Bible teaching, please visit markdriscoll.org or download the app. You can download a free devotional e-book from pastor Mark here.
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