Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Anna-- A Virtuous Woman

If you don't remember Anna, I'm not surprised. She is mentioned in just three verses of the Bible, yet the lessons we can learn from her are profound.

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,  and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. -Luke 2:36-38

She was part of a faithful remnant

At the time of Christ, the religious leaders were, well, not good leaders. They were far more interested in their own self-righteousness than being godly They made themselves look good by following multitudes of rules that they had added to God's law. Despite the leadership, there were still some in Israel who truly wanted to be godly and were waiting for their Messiah. Anna was one of those. She didn't allow herself to be dissuaded by the pseudo-righteousness of the leaders, but sought to know what God truly wanted. When Jesus was born, she was thrilled to hear the Messiah had finally come. And she got to meet him before she died!

She sacrificed of herself

Imagine spending ALL of your time worshiping God. She never left the temple-- she continuously prayed and fasted. She was completely devoted to God. Not everyone would be able to live that kind of life, but she could. Anna was quite young when she was widowed, so she would have been encouraged to marry again. Anna decides to remain single though and devotes her life to the Lord. 

She didn't make excuses

Being a widow in those times was difficult. She was most likely very poor. She was also very old. Those things didn't stop her. She wasn't worried about herself, about what she would eat or what she would wear. God would provide. She only knew that she had to serve God with everything.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. -Proverbs 31:25

She spread the Good News

After Anna saw Jesus, it says that she told everyone she could that the Messiah had been born. She didn't let fear of the religious leaders stop her. She wasn't discouraged by the lack of faith in others. She only knew that she had seen the Messiah and she had to spread the Good News! 

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. -Proverbs 31:26

If only we could be as devoted and faithful as dear Anna!

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