Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday, April 26 ~ tammi

Today's Bible In a Year reading: Judges 19-20; Psalm 84; John 16
Today's scripture focus passage: Luke 1:46-55

Here are links to Driscoll's "Mary's Song," and MacArthur's "Mary's Praise."

Today we look at one of the most famous texts in the Scriptures, a section widely referred to as "The Magnificat."  Mary's song of praise and submission to God after the angel's announcement that she will give birth to the Son of God.

I'm going to confess I did not take a lot of time to study this passage or read up on it.  We are in the final week of tax season here in Canada and so on top of my usual wife/mother/homemaker gig, I am also working almost full-time outside our home now, too.  But the final big push is on to finish up everyone's taxes for another year, and in less than a week, I will be a free woman again ~ woo-hoo!!  Well, free to focus on my responsibilities in and around our home and family, anyway...  :)

I am always in awe of Mary's willing submission to God's will despite what it might cost her in terms of her relationship with Joseph, her reputation in her village, and even in terms of her life, since the Mosaic Law prescribed stoning for a woman in what would soon be her very obvious condition.  Yet she seems perfectly at peace with it all.  Come what may, she knows God has spoken and He's got it all planned out.  No matter what happens, her faith, her future, are secure in Him.

One reason for this, MacArthur points out is that she's SOLIDLY grounded in Scripture.  Her song is chock-full of references to the Old Testament.  This is a woman who KNEW the Word of God. 

...she starts out in verse 46 by saying. "My soul doeth magnify the Lord," which is an echo of Psalm 34:2, "My soul shall make her boast in the Lord." In verse 47 she says, "And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior," which echoes Isaiah 45:21, "There is no God else beside Me, a just God and a Savior." And in verse 48 she says, "He has regarded the lowest state of His handmaid," which echoes 1 Samuel 1:11, "If Thou wilt indeed look on the infliction of Thine handmaid and remember me and not forget Thy handmaid," the words of Hannah. It also is reminiscent of Psalm 136:23, "Who remembered us in our low estate, for His mercy endures forever." Again in verse 48 she says, "Behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed," which echoes the words of Leah in Genesis 30 verse 13, "Happy am I for the daughters will call me blessed." In verse 49 she says, "He that is mighty has done to me great things," which echoes Psalm 126:3, "The Lord has done great things for us whereof we are glad." And then in verse 49 she says, "Holy is His name," directly quoting Psalm 111:9, "Holy and reverend is His name." And so it goes that she is very well versed in the Old Testament as she unfolds her familiarity with Scripture and applies it to her own situation.

She also understands the history of Israel. She understands how God has exercised His mighty arm in verse 51 and how in the past He has scattered the proud. He has brought down rulers. He exalts the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things, sent the rich empty handed. She understands how through the history of Israel God has helped Israel, verse 54, and done so in remembrance of His mercy promised, in verse 55, by the Abrahamic covenant. She is not just familiar with Scripture, she knows covenant theology. She understands the theology of the Abrahamic covenant. She understands that it was an eternal pledge made to Abraham by which generations would be blessed. She is knowledgeable of Scripture and she is familiar with theology. She had read, she had heard, she had memorized, she had meditated on the sacred Scripture and when her heart burst out in praise it wasn't trivial and it wasn't sort of self-invented. Scripture just poured out of her mouth. It was the language of Scripture showing her alacrity, her facility and her familiarity with the text. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, as Matthew 12:34 and when she spoke it reflected that her heart was filled with God's Word.

A friend of mine once said her prayer every morning was that God would make her like a sponge so she could soak as much of God's Word in each day as she possibly could.  That way, when she was squeezed by life's struggles and tests, that's what would come out.

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I think that must have been Mary's prayer most of her life, too.  I think if I was so completely saturated with the Word of God, when trying or uncertain times arose, or when faced with challenging situations I just can't figure a way through, I'd be more peaceful, exultant, and submissive, too!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year reading: Judges 21
Monday's scripture focus passage: Luke 1:56-66

1 comment:

TammyIsBlessed said...

What a testimony to Mary, and very likely to her parents, that she would be so well trained in scripture. This passage is proof that those words didn't just lay dormant in her mind, but that they were embedded in her very soul. I love how it was such a natural thing to do, for scripture to pour out from her mouth in praise in the midst of of such an overwhelming time in her life. Beautiful.