Blessed be the Lord God of Israel


"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David." - Luke 1:68-69

These words of praise, uttered by Zacharias the priest at the birth of John the Baptist, comprise one of seven great doxologies given by men and women in connection with the entrance of the Savior into the human family. Even before this was the testimony of His mother Mary in her Magnificat: "My soul does magnify the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior" (vv. 46-47).

But the first was uttered by Elizabeth: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. . . . And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord" (vv. 42, 45).

Then, when Christ was born, there were the shepherds who, after seeing Him, "returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told to them" (2:20). Eight days later, at His circumcision in Jerusalem, the aged prophet Simeon said, "blessed God, . . . mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which you have prepared before the face of all people; A light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel" (vv. 28, 30-32). The prophetess Anna "gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem" (v. 38).

Finally, perhaps two years later, Wise men, after a long journey from the east, "fell down, and worshipped him" (Matthew 2:11). Humble Jewish shepherds and great Gentile scholars joined with priest and prophet and three godly women to praise the Lord for the gift of His Son and to worship Him.

Can we do any less?

Lord, help us to worship You more fully. Let us comprehend Your entry into this world, and Your sacrifice for our sake. Amen.
Aug 10 2017