Tuesday, May 12, 2015

No More Reproach

Elizabeth patted the growing baby bump that was replacing her stomach.

The sun had set a couple hours ago, and a cool evening breeze was finally swirling into the house. She fanned her overheated face while Zechariah patted her stomach from where he sat beside her.

Zechariah motioned with his hands for the writing tablet they kept nearby ever since the angel bound his speech. He scribbled quickly, and then passed her the tablet.

It's been four months. When do we tell people?

Elizabeth shrugged. His serious expression told her that he was studying her intently. Her husband knew the abuse she had taken from the other women over the years. He also knew how much being barren had despaired her. It was odd that she hadn't told anyone yet.

Wasn't it?

"I just... I don't need their approval. I know the Lord has blessed us, and that He has taken away my reproach among the people. I don't need them to tell me that."

Zechariah studied her for a moment more before smiling, and taking her hand. He gave it a gentle squeeze. The action warmed her heart. He understood.

She already had everything she needed.

Based on Luke 1:24-25

"After these days his 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

Elizabeth got this incredible gift/miracle from God. If you got an incredible miracle from God, wouldn't you tell people about it?

Elizabeth kept it quiet for five months.

I would have thought she would want to proudly sport that baby bump in front of all the people who called her barren and unworthy. Why wouldn't she want to share this? God had taken away her reproach from the people!

But that's the thing.

God had taken away her reproach. He had blessed her. She knew that. She didn't need the approval of anyone else. She knew what God had done for her, and that was enough. She had God's approval.

God's approval is something we spout off to kids and teens, but this is still an important and relevant message - even for an old lady like Elizabeth. We base so much on what other people think and say about us, and it's just as bad among believers. "What will they think of me if I do this?" "What will they say about me if I write a story like that?" "What will my pastor say?"

If you are living a life sold out for God, who cares what everyone else says? You answer to God. And when He approves, the approval of others is absolutely meaningless. God had blessed you. God loves you. God has taken away your reproach. The other people don't matter.

V. Joy Palmer

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