A young woman, perhaps in her late teens receives an angelic visitation that breaks four hundred years of silence in God’s revelation to Israel. The nation was steeped in outward religiosity, observing rituals and feasts, but lacking the essential element of faith in the promise given by Micah … “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Mic 5:2 NIV).
Mary was a wonderful exception to the spiritual dearth that surrounded her, for she was living in the confidence of a coming Savior. Though not knowing the specifics of how God would bring the Savior into the world, she had placed her faith in the Messiah and Mary said … “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47 NASB). As she pondered the salutation by the angel Gabriel, no doubt her thinking recalled the Scriptures that revealed God at work in bringing Messiah into the world … “He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart” (Luke 1:51 NASB).
The mighty arm of God had been extended to Israel to deliver her from oppression and the satanic attacks to eliminate the Jews as a people. Meditating on the Word, her mind may have gravitated to the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt. “Then his people recalled the days of old, the days of Moses and his people — where is he who brought them through the sea, with the shepherd of his flock? Where is he who set his Holy Spirit among them, who sent his glorious arm of power to be at Moses' right hand, who divided the waters before them, to gain for himself everlasting renown, who led them through the depths” (Isa 63:11-13 NIV)?
Isaiah had written … “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear” (Isa 59:1 NIV). “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; so that he will not hear” (Isa 59:2 NIV). The prophet would sadly conclude … “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed” (Isa 53:1 NV)? His message of the Suffering Servant had been rejected by the nation.
The arm of the Lord would reveal the coming of the Messiah to those who had believed Isaiah’s report and thus they were anticipating the birth of Messiah -- believing Jews like Zachariah and Elizabeth, Anna and Simeon and Mary and Joseph. God had been faithful to extend His arm of grace to preserve the Jews throughout the centuries so that Messiah would come as promised descended from the house of David. Thus Mary would praise her God for … “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble” (Luke 1:52 NASB). Those who tried to destroy the people of God had been brought low. The Amalekites, Philistines, Assyrians and even the Babylonians, though used at times by God as instruments of judgment on Israel because of her sins would ultimately find their place in the graveyard of nations.
The divine utterance never has changed … “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 NASB). God’s plan for the ages proceeded unimpeded until the right time, the “fullness of time” and Messiah was born in the exact location prophesied by Micah and as promised, from the lineage of David. Mary lifted her praise to God though the royal line was forgotten and the King over all kings would be born in a manger instead of a palace. God was still at work, knowing from eternity past every circumstance and perfectly orchestrating His gift of the Son whose sole purpose in taking on the form of man was to provide forgiveness of sins to all who would place their faith in Him.