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Why Elizabeth Is My Favorite Bible Character

MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

Zechariah and Elizabeth pleased God.

Zechariah and Elizabeth pleased God.

Elizabeth’s story is confined to the first chapter of the Book of Luke, yet the author manages to portray a godly, good-natured, lovable, brave-yet-humble woman. Modern women searching for a relevant model of positive womanhood find Elizabeth attractive. Aging women who need the example of an older woman find her inspirational.

Samuel Rogers, the English Romantic, might well have been referring to Elizabeth with his famous line, “To know her was to love her.” This article focuses on the following five reasons why Elizabeth is such a great Bible character:

  1. Elizabeth was a bona fide believer
  2. She was not perfect
  3. She modeled good support
  4. She broke with tradition
  5. Her story inspires hope

1. Elizabeth Was a Bona Fide Believer

“Zechariah and Elizabeth … did everything the Lord commanded, always following his instructions completely.” (6)

Both Elizabeth and her husband were descendants from the priestly line of Aaron. While Zechariah, who also served as a priest was officiating in the temple, an angel appeared to inform him that Elizabeth, his wife would become pregnant with their son. But “both of them were very old.” (7)

Dr. Cunningham Geike, nineteenth century minister and author pointed out that all Jewish wives prayed for a son, realizing that one of their sons would be the long-awaited Messiah. Elizabeth remained childless. "They had grieved over their misfortune, and had made it the burden of many prayers, but years passed, and they had both grown elderly.”

Still, during the long wait, Elizabeth engaged in no presumptuous action like Sarah, who thought that time was running out on God. (Genesis 16:2) No unreasonable demand on her husband, like Rachel who seemed to think that the man could manipulate the woman’s womb. (Genesis 30:1) No whining about diminished womanhood, although she thought like Hannah that womanhood without motherhood lacked value. (1 Samuel 1:6)

Elizabeth provides an example of genuine faith which is not diminished by God’s delays. She reminds us that in the midst of our misfortunes, our most winning attitude is not worry, but a consistent focus on His Omnipotence.

“Look what the Lord has done for me!” can become our mantra.

“Look what the Lord has done for me!” can become our mantra.

2. She Was Not Perfect

“[Elizabeth] said, ‘Now people will stop thinking there is something wrong with me.’” (Verse 25)

It was not enough that she did right. Her human nature insisted that she also looked right, in the eyes of others. Here’s where we can all relate to Elizabeth, which makes it easier for us to admire her.

Isn’t true that we are sometimes distracted by our thoughts of what people think about us—our spirituality and our social worth? Don't we sometimes wonder if they can sense our insecurities despite our posture that life is good? There is no condemnation here for Elizabeth or for us. These distractions just prove that we are human. They are triggers to shift our minds from what people think to what God knows.

Elizabeth’s proclamation, “Look what the Lord has done for me!” (25) can become our mantra to lift our thoughts upward from our imperfect selves to the perfect ways of an Omniscient God.

3. She Modeled Good Support

“She said to Mary… ‘Great blessings are yours because you believed what the Lord said to you!’” (42, 45)

Elizabeth secluded herself for the first five months of her pregnancy. She would hardly want to talk about her unusual situation, let alone invite someone to stay at her home. Mary’s visit to Elizabeth was by divine appointment, and as soon as she arrived, Elizabeth began to affirm her and feed her confidence.

Never mind that the young Mary was becoming the mother of the Messiah, and that the older woman would parent her child for a lesser position than Mary’s baby. Elizabeth humbly bestowed on Mary, the honor she deserved and praised her for her faith which caused her to be chosen.

Elizabeth had no expertise in the prenatal or parenting process; but she had experience in womanhood, in the man-woman relationship, in maintaining faith through uncertainty.

If we pay attention, we will also discover that several younger people, some even in our homes, may need to lean on our guidance, while they strive to reach the next level in their spiritual, social, or professional development. It is part of our purpose to share with the next generation, whatever we have that they need. Thanks to Elizabeth for her example!

Read More From Owlcation

Great blessings are yours because you believed what the Lord said to you!

Great blessings are yours because you believed what the Lord said to you!

4. She Broke with Tradition

“They wanted to name [Elizabeth’s baby] Zechariah … But his mother said, ‘No, he will be named John.’ The people said to Elizabeth, ‘But no one in your family has that name.’” (Verses 59-61)

Zechariah had been struck dumb for the duration of the pregnancy, because he questioned the angel about the credibility of the announcement. (20) Whether he wrote for Elizabeth that the angel named the baby John, or God revealed it to her, she decided to break with tradition, in favor of obeying God. It took courage to voice her choice for the new name before her husband could lend his support.

“The new name is to herald the nature of the dispensation,” wrote R. M. Edgar, nineteenth century theologian. It is never too late to make significant impact on our immediate or extended community. God found Elizabeth, in her old age, worthy to begin something new. What's that about being too old?

5. Her Story Inspires Hope

“She is very old, but she is going to have a son… God can do anything!” (Verses 36 and 37)

Elizabeth’s story gives us hope that some of the blessings we did not receive in our prime years will be delivered in our senior years. It demonstrates that God does not forget our requests even when it seems that our prayers have expired.

In God’s own time, the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah with the news: “Your prayer has been heard by God. Your wife Elizabeth will give birth to a baby boy.” (13) The angel used her story to prove to the Virgin Mary, and to all of us, that God can do the impossible. (37)

As long as we are alive, there is hope that we can still achieve a dream that God put within us decades ago, or answer a prayer that we have forgotten. It is still possible to hear someone say about us, like the angel told Mary about Elizabeth, “Everyone thought she could not … but … God can do anything!” (36,37). Elizabeth is such an inspiration!

Because from Elizabeth's short story, we glean lessons on faith, influence, aging with healthy attitudes and godly womanhood among others; and because the lessons are enriching and relevant, Elizabeth earns my choice of favorite Bible character. Do you have a favorite?

References

Edgar, R.M: The Birth and Development of the Baptist, The Biblical Illustrator, Electronic Database. Copyright 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc.

Geikie, Dr: The Grief of Being Childless, The Biblical Illustrator, Electronic Database. Copyright 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc.

© 2021 Dora Weithers

Comments

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 02, 2021:

Thanks, Tamarajo. That comparison makes her very attractive to me. I want to be like her.

Tamarajo on June 02, 2021:

You captured quite a bit from the short portion of Scripture time Elzabeth is given. Beautiful applications. My favorite was your comparison with other barren women of the Bible and how Elizabeth's faith never wavered.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 02, 2021:

What a kind thing to say! I'm sure that you're a gem too where you are. It's never too late to make choices.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 02, 2021:

MsDora, With your sweet Bible stories and subtle lessons I imagine that if I had grown up surrounded by kind people like you rather than the hellfire and brimstone lot in my small community, I might have taken a different spiritual path. You are a gem.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 02, 2021:

Peggy, thanks for reading. I've always admired those virtues in her.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 02, 2021:

I can understand why she is your favorite Bible character. Thanks for sharing her story about her humility and patience with us.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 02, 2021:

Chitrangada, you're welcome. I do love to study Bible characters, and it's a pleasure to share my insights.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 02, 2021:

Thanks, Devika.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 02, 2021:

Thank you for this enlightening article about Elizabeth, in the Bible. I have learnt a lot from your narration.

Have a blessed day and thank you for sharing.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 02, 2021:

I agree with you and so much here to grasp about the woman from the bible.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 02, 2021:

Devika, thanks for your kind words. Elizabeth's story is really interesting whether as a woman waiting on the answer to her prayer, or as an encouraging someone else. So much we can learn from her.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 02, 2021:

MsDora this is interesting and well-written hub. Great thoughts and from a talented writer too.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 01, 2021:

Mark, I'm glad that you stopped by and actually learned something. You encourage me. Thanks!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 01, 2021:

Misbah, thanks a bunch for your valuable input. The information from the Quran is very interesting. It stresses the couple's godliness and humility which are the qualities which make them so outstanding. I appreciate you.

Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on May 31, 2021:

Learned something about Elizabeth today, Thank you, MsDora.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Rebels. on May 31, 2021:

Thank you for sharing this beautiful Hub, Ms Dora. Elizabeth is a great example of faith and patience in the Bible. The Quran also tells the story of Zakariyah (Zechariah) PBUH in Chapters 3 and 19, and it is similar to the story told in the Christian Gospel of Luke

The Quran tells us that Prophet Zachary and his wife performed good deeds, called on God with fear and with hope, and were humble, so God rewarded them, in their old age, with a son.

“So We answered his call, and We bestowed upon him John (John's name is mentioned as Yahya in Quran), and cured his wife’s barrenness for him. Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” (Quran 21:90)

Take care and stay happy and healthy

Blessings and Lots of Love

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 31, 2021:

Mary, perhaps Elizabeth wondered too. Judging from her story, He may have some surprises in store for us who trust Him no matter what. Thanks for your input.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 31, 2021:

I'm happy to read about a woman I also admire in the Bible. It helps me wonder at what God is doing to us.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 31, 2021:

Linda, I'm encouraged. Thanks for your kind words and I share your hope.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 31, 2021:

Bill, blessings to you also. I always appreciate your support. Thank you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 31, 2021:

Pam, sometimes we wonder why the Old Testament people seem so stiff-necked. We have their examples to learn from, and of course as you mention the sacrifice of Christ. Thanks for your valuable input.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 31, 2021:

Thanks, John. Elizabeth is my favorite today. There are others I may choose on another day.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on May 31, 2021:

What a beautiful re-telling of the story of Elizabeth, a faithful servant of God. There are many other women of the Bible who are given just brief mention. You are such a skilled writer; I hope you will some day find the time and inspiration to write of them as well.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 31, 2021:

Her story does inspire hope, and she is definitely a good one to emulate. I can see why she is your favorite.

Thanks for the share and your thoughts, my friend, and blessings to you always.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 31, 2021:

This is a wonderful story from the Bible, Ms Dora. I love that you wrote about it. I am reading Jeremiah in the Old Testament, and the people just don't seem to learn to obey God. Thank goodness Jesus atoned for our sins, and we can be forgiven. I really enjoyed reading your article. Thank you for sharing this story.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on May 31, 2021:

Elizabeth is certainly one character in the Bible that is a wonderful example of faith and patience. This was an enjoyable read, MsDora. I have a number of Bible characters I like, but Daniel has always been one of my favourites.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 31, 2021:

Thanks, Liz. So you share your name. She is my favorite old woman in the Bible.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 31, 2021:

This is a fascinating and well-written article. You have made some interesting and relevant points based on this exploration of the character of Elizabeth.

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