Savor the Word
Daily Reading: This morning, we’re reading Luke 1. Start there, then read this devotion that will tie in with what you’ve read.
Luke 1 starts us on a journey back through one of the gospel accounts from a different perspective (we started the year with Mark). In these devotions, my goal is never to completely explain the whole chapter, but to encourage the few readers I have to read God’s word each day and offer a little insight into something that encouraged or challenged me.
In Luke 1, I want to focus just on Mary’s prayer.You may sometimes hear it called the magnificat. Magnificat is a latin word that means “magnifies.” Mary’s opening words to her words of praise were, “my soul magnifies the Lord.” Here’s the question I want to ask this morning: What do we say when our soul wants to magnify the Lord? Mary gives us a great example by echoing scripture.
Mary finds out that she will be having a baby. Not just any baby; Mary will bear the promised messiah. In this moment of great rejoicing, Mary remembers another woman who rejoiced over a coming child. She shows in her prayer how familiar she was with scripture. Read Mary’s prayer again in Luke 1:46-55 then read Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Let’s quickly look at some comparisons:
Hannah: My heart exults in the Lord
Mary: My soul magnifies the Lord
Hannah: I rejoice in your salvation
Mary: My spirit rejoices in God my Savior
Hannah: Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth
Mary: For he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
Hannah: There is none holy like the Lord
Mary: Holy is his name.
The comparisons don’t stop here, but I’ll just include these for times sake. What’s my point? This precious girl had faithfully and uneventfully learned God’s word her whole life. When a moment came for her to praise God, his Word flowed out of her.
One my heroes, JC Ryle, gave this great application. I’ll leave you with it:
“Let us strive, every year we live, to become more deeply acquainted with Scripture. Let us study it, search into it, dig into it, meditate on it, until it dwell in us richly. (Coloss. 2:16.) In particular, let us labor to make ourselves familiar with those parts of the Bible which, like the book of Psalms, describe the experience of the saints of old. We shall find it most helpful to us in all our approaches to God. It will supply us with the best and most suitable language both for the expression of our wants and thanksgivings. Such knowledge of the Bible can doubtless never be attained without regular, daily study. But the time spent on such study is never mis-spent. It will bear fruit after many days.”
– JC Ryle (1816-1900)