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12/07/2016

FALSE ASSUMPTIONS

After these days (Zechariah's) wife Elizabeth conceived,
and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying,
"Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when He
looked on me, to take away my reproach among people"
(Luke 1:24-25).
Read Luke 1:23-25.
 
Many husbands and wives struggle with the heartbreak
of infertility. But Zechariah and Elizabeth experience
something even deeper. During that period when a
couple was childless, their neighbors often made false
and hurtful assumptions about them.
 
Judaism had lost its proper understanding of the Old
Testament. Instead of focusing on God's undeserved
grace for helpless sinners, the Jews focused on their
own worthiness. They judged their neighbors'
relationship with God by the blessings He showered
on them. Their good health, financial status, overall
prosperity, social status, and number of descendants --
or lack of -- were indicators of their connection with
God. No matter how much they honored God and
trusted His salvation, Jewish society looked upon
Zechariah and Elizabeth's infertility as proof that
things were not quite right between them and God.
Now, at last, God has visited them and removed
Elizabeth's social disgrace. But interestingly, Elizabeth
doesn't go right out and clear up her reputation by
broadcasting her pregnancy. Instead, she keeps her
pregnancy hidden. Perhaps it is because Elizabeth
knows God is doing something even greater than
granting her the gift of a child-as special as that child
will be.
 
God is sending His Son into the world, and her son will
be His forerunner, His messenger. How surprised she
will be in the sixth month when the mother of God's Son
comes to be a guest in her house.
 
THE PRAYER:
 
Heavenly Father, it is not easy to be judged and
misunderstood by people-especially when I struggle
through difficult situations. Grant me Your joy, peace,
and patience as You guide me through this life. In Jesus'
Name. Amen.
 
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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