Advent Devotion for December 10
In lighting the candle, the candle lighter says: “The virgin will conceive a child.”
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 7:13-14
13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? 14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:26-31
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
MUSIC: Mary Did You Know?
- Pentonix (YouTube)
- Jordon Smith from The Voice (YouTube)
- Sam Robson (YouTube)
- Mark Lowry (the guy who wrote it) (YouTube)
SOME THOUGHTS: This pericope from Isaiah is perhaps one of the best-known prophetic texts in the Old Testament. The context is this: Israel was fearful of an attack from Damascus, the capital of Syria (some things never change.) Through Isaiah, God sent a message to the king of Judah with the encouraging words that the kings he feared would be deserted and that God would be with Judah both in presence and protection. Once again, while this prophecy had immediate meaning for Israel’s history (Hezekiah was a godly king born about this time), it also spoke prophetically of the birth of the Messiah. Note also the mention of the royal family of David in both passages. As we have said so many times, note the significance of every phrase. Then there is the phrase, “God sent the angel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee.” It was prophesied that the Messiah would be a Nazarene. The childhood home of Jesus was also declared long before his birth. What is interesting here is that on several occasions, women who were barren were visited by an angel to announce they would become pregnant and bear a son, a divine intervention on their behalf: an angel to Sarah (Isaac), an angel to Manoah’s wife (Samson), and Gabriel to Zachariah via Elizabeth (John the Baptist), Hannah – though not via an angel, but prophesied by Eli (Samuel), and Gabriel to Mary (Jesus). Every single one of those boys played a significant role in God’s greater story of redemption. All are mentioned as heroes of the faith in Hebrews chapter eleven. Their mothers were great women who put their trust in God in impossible situations and God honored their faith in a most powerful way. Though you may not be visited by an angel today, (there’s always a chance!), may you exhibit the same trust in God as these women as your life unfolds.
BONUS: This song is so popular I’ve given you several contrasting choices.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the Author and Giver of all life, we realize you visited these ordinary women in a unique way in granting them the gift of becoming mothers to some very extraordinary boys. They trusted you against all odds. For we realize Lord, that with you there is no such thing as “odds.” You are sovereign in the lives of your children. You clearly leave nothing to “chance” because it doesn’t exist in your world. Forgive us when we lack faith in you and in your sovereign will. Sometimes you bless barren women with children and sometimes you bless them in remaining barren. In either circumstance, what you ask of us is faith in you and your wisdom. Lord Jesus, we give you our trust this day. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen. – Dan Sharp