Jesus tells us that the names of those who will live with Him in heaven are written in His book of life (Revelation 21:27). Names are important and they mean something. One of my little personal ministries is to pray that people will live the meaning of their names.
Elizabeth’s name means God’s promise. Elizabeth lived that meaning. As a wife of a priest, Elizabeth was familiar with Scripture. She knew what God had promised throughout what we call the Old Testament. She knew also God’s promises to her through the angel when God gave her a son:
“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:13-17).
If she had lived long enough, Elizabeth also would have seen God’s promises lived out through the way her son John prepared the way for Jesus. Elizabeth’s very life—as the mother of the prophet foretold in Isaiah—was part of the fulfillment of God’s promise. Elizabeth lived the meaning of her name God’s promise. Because of her knowledge of these promises fulfilled, Elizabeth knew she was blessed, saying,
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! (Luke 1:45).
God’s promises continue to be given to us modern women. God has promised His people salvation. God has promised His people eternal life. God has promised that His people we will be part of His kingdom, that they are His children, that the Church is His bride, and that His people will live in glory in His presence.
The fulfillment of those promises was completed when Jesus became the blood sacrifice for us on the cross. No longer did humans need to slaughter a lamb or a goat to seek a blood washing of sin. Jesus became that sacrifice—complete and perfect for all people, for all sins, for all time. God’s promise has been fulfilled. It is an ongoing, never ending promise. But it has been completed. Done. Finished. The end. Until His next big promise—Jesus’ return and the establishment of New Heaven and New Earth as explained in the Book of Revelation.
For now, and forever, we have salvation through Jesus because Jesus provided us with salvation 2000 years ago. We have eternal life when we become part of His eternal Kingdom. We become His children when we ask Him to adopt us into His family. We become His bride because we are part of His Church. We live in His presence forever because when we accept Jesus, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us.
God’s promises to us have already been fulfilled. And they will continue to be fulfilled forever. Do we live each day as though we believe them? Have we taken ownership of His promises as if they have already come about?
If Elizabeth were here she would say this was her story. She recognized God’s promises and trusted in Him that they would be fulfilled. She lived the meaning of her name.
Who are we to God? When we recognize how to live a life that trusts in and reflects God’s promises we understand how God might see His women of faith. We can respond:
I am like Elizabeth.
For Thought and Discussion
- What specific promise from God do you cling to? Why does that promise have such special meaning to you?
- What revelations do you have about God’s promises in conjunction with Jesus’ pronouncement on the cross that “It is finished” and that Jesus fulfilled those promises? Have you accepted the gift of those promises fulfilled? If not, why not do so now?
- Is there any promise from God you have not acknowledged or have not claimed for yourself that you should? How might you go about doing so?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for your plan, for your promises and thank you for already having fulfilled them. Please remind us today that you have kept your promises and that we can rely on them as fully trustworthy. Please help us live the meaning of the name Elizabeth, knowing your promises and trusting in them. Amen.