Here's another of the minor Bible characters. She's Zechariah's wife, John's mom, a relative of Mary. You know, the Mary.
We were studying Luke tonight in our Bible study with the youth, and I couldn't help but find some amazing character wrapped up in this fairly minor character. The unveiling of Elizabeth's character starts in Luke 1:6. The verse relates to she and her husband, Zechariah, describing them both as " righteous in God's sight, living without blame according to all the commandments and requirements of the Lord."
Man, what a title to be given! I mean, have you read the Old Testament and outlined all of the commandments and requirements? I have, and I fail daily! To be seen as righteous and faithful after a time where God hasn't spoken for almost 400 years, that is a faithfulness I can't comprehend.
But it gets deeper.
Luke 1:7 says that Elizabeth and Zechariah were without children, and the text clearly states "Elizabeth could not conceive." To understand the depth of this it is important to know that in Old Testament times (which is the last time God had spoke at this point), being unable to conceive children was not only a burden personally, but was looked down upon by society as a curse from God due to some sin in your life.
So here is this couple, who we find out later is very old, who are called righteous and as living without blame, through many, many, many years of trying to conceive, and most devastatingly, the label that she is living in sin.
The worst thing you could do to me, especially when I'm really living for Jesus, is point your finger out me and say that I'm not. I've been told before, "And you call yourself a Christian." Talk about heart piercing. But how does Elizabeth handle this? She's faithful. It's a faithfulness I can't understand.
And as the angel Gabriel comes and visits her husband, telling him of the child that Elizabeth is going to carry, finds himself struck mute, and it's Elizabeth upon hearing Mary's greeting who breaks the silence of God exclaiming: "You are the most blessed of women, and your child will be blessed. How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me."
To have the faithfulness of Elizabeth, through long trials and pointy fingers... that is perseverance.