But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both of them were well along in years.
I. THE DOMESTIC BOND. Here we have conjugal relationship in its true form; established in mutual respect; justified and beautified by mutual affection; made permanently happy by common affinities and common aims; elevated and consecrated by the presence of another and still nobler bond - that of a strong and immovable attachment to God. A human life is quite incomplete without such tender ties of God's own binding, and these ties are immeasurably short of what they were meant to be if they are not enlarged and ennobled by the sanctities of religion.
II. HUMAN AND DIVINE ESTIMATION. These two godly souls enjoyed the favor of their Divine Father and of their human friends and neighbors: "They were both righteous before God," and they were "blameless" in the sight of men. God accepted them, and man approved them. He to whom they were responsible for all they were and did saw in them, as he sees in all his children, the imperfections which belong to our erring and struggling humanity; but he accepted their reverence and their endeavor to please and to obey him, forgiving their shortcomings. And their kindred and their friends recognized in them those who were regulating their life by God's holy will, and they yielded to them their fullest measure of esteem. No human life is complete without the possession of these two things:
(1) the favor of the living God; and
(2) the esteem of those amongst whom we live.
To walk in the shadow of conscious estrangement from God, to miss the sweet sunshine of his heavenly favor, - this is to darken our life with a continual curse, this is to bereave ourselves of our purest joy and most desirable heritage. And while some of the very noblest of our race, following thus in the footsteps of the Master himself, have borne, in calm and heroic patience, the obloquy of the ignorant and the malice of the evil-minded, yet it is our duty, and it should be our desire and aspiration, so to walk in rectitude and in kindness that men will bless us in their hearts, will esteem us for our integrity, will hold us in their affection. The man who "wears the white flower of a blameless life" is the man who will be a power for good in the circles in which he moves.
III. SACRED SERVICE. It may be questionable whether any distinction is intended between "ordinances" and "commandments;" but there can be no question at all that both together cover religious observances and moral obligations. The Law which these two faithful souls obeyed enjoined the one as well as the other. And no human life is complete which does not include both these elements of piety.
1. The worship of God, in private prayer, in family devotion, in public exercises, is a serious and important part of a good man's experience.
2. And certainly not less so is the regulating of conduct by the revealed will of God; the walking, day by day, in uprightness and integrity, in sobriety and purity, in truth and in love. Beautifully complete, fashioned in spiritual symmetry, attractive and influential, is that human life which is spent in the home of hallowed love, which is bright with the favor of God and man, and which is crowned with the sovereign excellences of piety and virtue. - C.
And they had no child.
I. This holy pair, Zacharias and Elisabeth, were fruitful in holy obedience, but barren in children; a fruitful soul and a barren womb are consistent, and often meet together. This religious couple made no less progress in virtue than in age, and yet their virtue did not make their age fruitful.
II. Elisabeth was barren in the flower of her age, but much more so in old age. Here was a double obstacle, and consequently a double instance of Divine power in the birth of John the Baptist, showing him to be a prophet very extraordinary, and miraculously sent by God.
III. When Almighty God in old time did long delay to give the blessing of children to holy women, He rewarded their expectation with the birth of some eminent and extraordinary person. Thus Sarah, after long barrenness, brought forth an Isaac; Rebecca, a Jacob; Rachel, a Joseph; Hannah, a Samuel; and Elisabeth, St. John Baptist. When God makes His people wait long for a particular mercy, if He sees it good for them, He gives it at last with a double reward for their expectation.
(W. Burkitt, M. A.)— A just soul and a barren womb may well agree together. Among the Jews barrenness was not a defect only, but a reproach; yet, while this good woman was fruitful of holy obedience, she was barren of children; as John, who was miraculously conceived by man, was a fit forerunner of Him that was conceived by the Holy Ghost, so a barren matron was meet to make way for a virgin.
(Bishop Hall.)Here was desolation without murmuring. Blessings long withheld are more intensely prized.
(W. H. Van Doren, D. D.)
LinksLuke 1:7 NIV
Luke 1:7 NLT
Luke 1:7 ESV
Luke 1:7 NASB
Luke 1:7 KJV
Luke 1:7 Bible Apps
Luke 1:7 Parallel
Luke 1:7 Biblia Paralela
Luke 1:7 Chinese Bible
Luke 1:7 French Bible
Luke 1:7 German Bible
Luke 1:7 Commentaries