Gracefully Truthful

Believe,Freedom,Future,Grace,Hope,Inheritance

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Luke 1:46-55

46 And Mary said:
My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 because he has looked with favor
on the humble condition of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 because the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and his name is holy.
50 His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear him.
51 He has done a mighty deed with his arm;
he has scattered the proud
because of the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has toppled the mighty from their thrones
and exalted the lowly.
53 He has satisfied the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he spoke to our ancestors.

The Original Intent

1) Mary was young, a woman, among the lowest of society, without a cultural voice, and seen as insignificant to the world. Why could she sing such a beautiful song? (verses 46-50)

Every possible “odd” was against Mary being chosen as the one to carry, birth, and shelter the promised Messiah. (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)

She lived in a culture that didn’t value women, gave no credibility to their testimony, and looked down on the youthful as incompetent. Centuries earlier, God had instructed the prophet Samuel to choose David as the new king instead of Saul. Though other candidates were older, more mature, and seemed a better fit for kingship, the Lord told Samuel, “Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Just as He chose David, the greatest human king Israel would ever have, so God chose Mary to carry the unborn Christ, each based on His knowledge of their heart. This was evidenced by Gabriel’s greeting, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30)

Mary took the angel’s message from the Lord and put her full weight of belief into it, so much so that she used the very words from God and sang them back to Him in her song, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior, because He has looked with favor on the humble condition of His servant.” That “humble condition” Mary mentioned is given further understanding in the Lexham English Bible translation which adds, “My spirit has rejoiced greatly in God my Savior, because He has looked upon the humble state of His female slave.” (Luke 1:47-48, LEB)

Mary knew she was undeserving of this supreme honor according to society, but because she had learned the rhythm of God’s heart for the oppressed and the least likely through Scripture, she had full faith in the God who used the humble to showcase His glory.

The Everyday Application

1) Mary was young, a woman, among the lowest of society, without a cultural voice, and seen as insignificant to the world. Why could she sing such a beautiful song? (verses 46-50)

Brothers and sisters, consider your calling:
Not many were wise from a human perspective,
not many powerful,
not many of noble birth. 
Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise,
and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. 
God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world—what is viewed as nothing—to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, so that no one may boast in His presence.
It is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus […].”
(1 Corinthians 1:26-30)

From the fall of mankind in Eden, to Abraham the liar, to Jacob the cheater, to the family of 70 people becoming an entire nation, to a teenage girl becoming the mother of God, to a impetuous fisherman becoming the rock on which Christ would build His Church, to you…God’s methods have not changed.

He has always, and will continue, to choose to least likely, the insignificant, and the ones viewed by culture, powers, and peers as nothing to showcase His glory. For when we look at our crazy, wild, insanely messy lives, and we still see Jesus at work, we KNOW only God could do something so remarkable with something so backward and messy as our ordinary everyday.

Truth be told, I’m a pretty messy state tonight as I write what I know to be true from Scripture despite how I feel. I need the example of Mary’s faith as she took God at His Word and internalized His truth so deeply it came out as a song. Maybe you need it too? Or maybe you’ll need it tomorrow, or you’ll find a friend who needs it.

Hold to truth, Sister. Take in God’s Words and feast deeply on them. Meditate on them, repeat them, memorize them, sing them!

The Original Intent

2) What characteristics of God did Mary choose to sing about and how were these evidenced through Jesus? (verses 46-55)

In her song, Mary declared some significant truths she would need to remember at various stages of her life as she witnessed the growth of her little boy becoming the man who would sacrifice Himself through brutal crucifixion for the sins of the world.

She needed these truths as she carried her first unborn baby, suffered mockery and shame from those around her, and fled to Egypt as an irate king tried to kill her boy. She would need these truths as she would one day watch her son die, be buried, then raised to life only to ascend to Heaven.

She would need to hold onto the realities of these promises as she joined with other believers to spread the good news of the gospel around the known world.

But Mary’s song wasn’t just for her, it was for us.

Yes, her example prods us to sing songs of truth too, but her words embolden our faith when we feel it’s flailing. Her song joins the chorus of those who have gone before her and who held fast to faith. Her words instruct hearts through the ages to trust the Lord who saves!

Mary sang to the God who saves (verse 47), the God who values the lowly (verse 48), the God who blesses individuals (verse 48), the God who does great things and whose Name itself is holy (verse 49). She sang of a God who shows mercy endlessly to those who worship Him (verse 50), who sees into hearts and scatters the arrogant (verse 51), and who elevates the lowly (verse 52).

Mary’s voice declared with confidence of the satisfaction only He can give to bellies, bodies, and souls (verse 53), who is known for being a Helper to His own (verse 54), and the God who faithfully keeps His promises (verse 55).

The Everyday Application

2) What characteristics of God did Mary choose to sing about and how were these evidenced through Jesus? (verses 46-55)

The same God whose characteristics filled the lyrics of Mary’s song is the very same God who wakes us every morning with new mercies (Lamentations 3:22-23),
who quiets us with His love (Zephaniah 3:17),
who sings over us shouts of deliverance (Psalm 32:7),
who transfers us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Beloved Son if we come to Him just as Mary did with a heart of faith willing to take Him at His Word. (Colossians 1:13-14)

Come, Beloved One of God, come and delight in the God who has made Himself known so you might sing of His goodness to the world around you! (Psalm 100:5)

If you’ve never explored Scripture with this method before, try it on your own this week in your quiet time with the Lord and His Word! If your Bible doesn’t have cross-references (small letters scattered throughout a passage that correlate to other passages with the same wording), go online and study at biblia.com.

Slow down to pull apart phrases that speak of God and His character, then look for how He proved that characteristic both in Scripture and in your own life!

This intentional act will cause worship to bubble up inside you! Who knows, you might even sing!

The Original Intent

3) Why choose a song for her declaration?
 
 
Mary learned to sing by listening to her parents and the broader Jewish community sing. Songs were woven into the very fabric of Jewish life as their songs told their history (Exodus 15:1-18) and declared the character of Yahweh (Psalm 100:5), the only One worthy of their worship.

The lyrics of her song revealed the depths from which she pulled to sing and make music in her heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19) The pattern of her song mimicked another mother, Hannah, who, centuries prior, sang to the Lord for His mercy and kindness for giving her a son. Our stories strengthen, encourage, and birth greater faith in others when we share them. Every time we lift our voices to sing God’s praise and tell of His deeds, we are putting God’s glory on display to others and ourselves in an unforgettable way.

The songs of the saints shaped Mary and influenced her song. Moses sang (Exodus 15:1-18), Miriam sang (Exodus 15:21), Hannah sang (1 Samuel 2:1-10), David sang (2 Samuel 22), even the wayward prophet, Jonah, sang worship to the Lord (Jonah 2). Later, Paul would write creedal songs to the Church as it grew, influencing the world around it with the song of the gospel. (Philippians 2:5-11) Mary’s voice joined the choir of saints who had gone before her when she sang from her heart. When we sing of the Lord today, we join that same choir!

The Everyday Application

3) Why choose a song for her declaration?
 
Think back to your earliest memories of singing as a child. Who taught you to sing? What were the earliest songs you remember singing? How did you feel when you sang? I hadn’t intentionally considered this until a few days ago when one of my young sons asked me for my favorite song when I was his age. Surprising to me, I could remember singing a little song before bed when I was very young, likely 2 or 3 years old. I’m certain it’s among my very earliest memories of life.

Music expresses our hearts in ways spoken words simply cannot achieve. Music, particularly the very act of singing, awakens something life-giving and deeply pivotal within us. Singing marks our hearts, for worship is meant to unfold from our inmost being.

I would guess that if you reflect on moments of music and singing over your life, you’ll find songs marking significance in your journey just as they did through Scripture. When we sing, we make a declaration as we make our voice heard both to others and, perhaps more importantly, ourselves. (Psalm 103:1)

Scripture reverberates with the sound of singing, whether from the groans of deepest agony or the heights of highest joy, songs are sung in God’s Word to declare the depths of our souls. (Psalm 42:5) When Mary lifted her song of praise to God out loud, it communicated a depth of intimacy between her heart and the Lord, and, with stunning beauty, millions have benefited from the faith of her heart song from the unborn Jesus, to Elizabeth, all the way to us today.

Sing, Sister, “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord!”. (Ephesians 5:19)

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