Elizabeth is first introduced to us in the Bible, alongside her husband, as people who were righteous and blameless in God’s eyes. But, there are also other words used to describe this mom in the bible.
Imagine writing about a certain female character and the very first introduction we get of her is that she was an old woman, who was past child bearing age. Elizabeth was barren and was unable to conceive. Talk about labels and how unfair others can be with their words, especially when you have no power over your present life and circumstances.
This was Elizabeth’s story. She was in a season of life where society expected her to be a mother raising children. But, life had thrown her a different ball and she chose to remain steadfast in her trust in God.
One thing that has always intrigued me about Elizabeth is how she went into seclusion when her miracle of conception happened. It must have taken a higher level of wisdom for her to know that she had to protect her seed.
Elizabeth’s Character Profile
Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist, a forerunner of Jesus Christ and a child she bore in her old age. She was the wife of Zechariah who was a priest and is also believed to be a descendant of Aaron and of the tribe of Levi.T here is no doubt that Elizabeth had a rich spiritual heritage based on her tribe and being the wife of a priest.
“For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.”
Malachi 2:7 ESV
Elizabeth was a cousin to Mary, the mother of Jesus and is first mentioned in the bible as an old woman who was past child bearing age. The name Elizabeth means “God keeps his oath or God is an oath”. And we get to see how God keeps his promise to Elizabeth in the latter years of her life.
The Bible also describes her as righteous and blameless. She was a woman who honored God and lived a life of willing obedience to God. Yet, there are two very important things that cannot be forgotten about her.
First, she is that woman who willingly waited on God’s timing to give her a child. There was no record of bitterness or anger in her story and waiting season. She remained faithful and steadfast to God’s promise to her.
Second, she is also that mother who was instantly filled with the Holy Spirit when she met the mother of Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Luke 2:41 NLT
Moms in the Bible: Elizabeth’ s Story
Elizabeth’s story can only be found in Luke Chapter 1. Here are some key highlights about Elizabeth as seen in Luke 1: 5-7 NLT:
- She was married to a Jewish priest named Zechariah who was a member of the priestly order of Abijah.
- Elizabeth was also from the priestly line of Aaron and of the tribe of Levi.
- She was righteous in God’s eyes and was careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments.
- She and her husband are described as righteous and blameless before God.
- She and her husband were very old and advanced in age.
- She was barren and unable to conceive a child.
Some other key things to note about Elizabeth was that she was a prayerful woman who held on to her faith in God. We can say this about Elizabeth and her husband because of the words spoken when the angel visited her husband:
“ But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.” Luke 1:13
God heard the prayer of Elizabeth and her husband. They had waited in prayer to God for a child and God heard them in an unexpected season of life.
Elizabeth also became an unintended mentor to Mary and we can say God designed it that way. Who else could fit the role of mentor to Mary than Elizabeth.
Elizabeth had walked that path of loneliness, being mocked at and learning to trust God’s purpose wholeheartedly. She gave strength, courage and support to Mary as she embraced and walked God’s path and purpose for her life. She became a great support system to a young virgin girl, who had just been told that she would carry the son of God in her womb.
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home. Luke 1:56
We can also see that Elizabeth was a woman who was unified with her husband in marriage. We see unity as a couple come to play at the naming of her new born child.
Her husband, Zechariah, was the one who received the name of their child from God. He immediately became dumb after the visitation from the angel. When Elizabeth was asked at the ceremony what the name of their son would be, she spoke out boldly that his name is John.
When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!” Luke 1:59 NLT
And when their relatives tried to fight against the name, Zechariah wrote the exact same name down on a tablet. This speaks of the power of agreement and unity in a marriage. Elizabeth stood firmly on the words spoken by the angel to her husband without compromise. This reveals to us their unity of purpose in their marriage and as regards the child God had promised them.
What Can We Learn From Elizabeth in the Bible
1. God never forgets us.
God showed up for Elizabeth after all the years of trusting, waiting and serving the Lord faithfully. It may have looked like she was forgotten in that season of her life, but God did not forget her.
Sometimes as we walk through difficult seasons of life, we must learn to stand firm in faith and keep trusting God. He will always show up at the right time to fulfill his purpose in our lives just like he did for Elizabeth.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalms 138:8 ESV
2. Protect God’s seed.
Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months. Luke 1:24 NLT
Elizabeth went into seclusion once she discovered that she was pregnant. And for the next 5 months, this mother-to-be separates herself from the world. We may not know the exact things Elizabeth did while in seclusion, but I believe she had discernment to protect her seed in that season. Remember that, this was a child she conceived in old age, it was a miracle that seemed impossible, yet God honored her and his word. The world was watching and she needed to pray and reaffirm God’s word and purpose for her son.
Also the angel had given specific words about their son – his name, his ministry, his purpose and instructions about his life. She knew that there was something different about the child she was carrying, hence the need to protect her seed. The bible says in John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.“
Satan is on the hunt to steal and destroy the destinies of children around the world. And like Elizabeth, we must protect and cover our seeds in prayer and in the word of God.
3. Mentorship and support systems are important.
One of the greatest gifts God gives us as his children is the gift of purposeful relationships. When Mary was told that she would conceive and carry the son of God, she asked the angel how it would happen. The angel told her how it will happen and mentioned Elizabeth’s story to encourage Mary.
What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. Luke 1:36 NLT
God knew that Mary needed all the strength and courage to walk through this tough and unusual season of her life. And he points her to Elizabeth, another woman who was carrying a son with a divine assignment, who knew what it was like to see the miraculous come alive in her story. And it is true that when these women met, something happened, Elizabeth’s baby leaped in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:41
Elizabeth recognised that Mary was called for a higher purpose and in that moment, she began to celebrate her and bless her. I believe Elizabeth’s words strengthened Mary for what lay ahead and she stood as a solid support system for Mary in those three months they spent together.
Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Luke 1:42-45
A mentor is a person who can support, advise and guide you and most likely has walked your path or had similar experiences like you. Elizabeth became an unintended mentor to Mary and we can see how their relationship with each other was a blessing.
Challenge to Moms From Elizabeth
1. Trust God in the good and bad times.
God wants you to trust him at all times. Whether in the good and bad, your faith in God must not waver. He always has your best interest at heart if you can just trust him.
2. Protect your seed in prayer and with the word of God
One of the most powerful things you can do for your children is to cover them in prayer. You can protect them from the enemy of their souls when you declare God’s word over them as you pray scriptures.
3. Become a mentor to another woman
Are you willing to use your story to lift, bless, strengthen, encourage and support another woman? You never know the potential that woman has inside her. Let God use you to point other women into their purpose and God given destiny.
In conclusion, one thing we can never forget is that Elizabeth was privileged to be the mother of John the Baptist, a forerunner of Jesus Christ. And in her son, we saw the zeal and passion with which he executed his ministry on the earth. It was John the Baptist who said – “ He must increase. But I must decrease.” John 3:30 NKJV
Read about Other Moms in the Bible.
Guest Blogger Bio.
Ufuoma Fijabi writes on her blog www.oneinspiredmum.com where she shares God inspired articles that focus on motherhood, faith, hope and spirituality. Her passion is to inspire, encourage, support and build up faith in the heart of moms in their motherhood journey. She is wife to an amazing man and mom to two children. She currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria with her family.