Advent Devotional – December 11

Weakness and Might-Luke 1:48-53

48for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

Consider: In what areas of your life are you constantly aware of your need for God’s strength?

Learn:

Prov. 3:34 Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.

1 Cor. 1:26-31  For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

James 4:6  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Along with the contrast of humility versus pride in this passage there is also the parallelism of our weakness and God’s might.  God’s people are in a humble, needy state.  The proud are characterized as rich and haughty, confident in themselves and their lack of need for God.  But Jesus came to reverse those roles.  He chooses the poor, the weak, the foolish in order to shame those who are confident in themselves.
Mary is a beautiful picture of God’s reversal.  She is a young, unmarried woman, unconnected in terms of social status, from a small insignificant place.  There was no merit in her person, her place, her upbringing that caused God to choose her.   She acknowledged her own insignificance and the insignificance of her people in her song.
Kent Hughes points out this reversal in three different ways.  There is moral reversal.  Those who think they are good and superior are actually those who will be shown their inferiority.  In Christ, those who at the bottom socially will be raised up and seated with Christ, while those on thrones will be brought down.  In the material/spiritual world, those that recognize their poverty are more likely (though not always) able to recognize their need for God.

Apply: Take those areas of acknowledged weakness as an opportunity to trust God’s strength for you today, and magnify him for it.

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