In Part 1 of Believing the Truth About God, we were looking at what has been called Mary’s Magnificat, the portion of scripture in Luke 1:45-54, in which Mary, the young mother of Jesus, sings a song of praise about the character of her God based on His hand in her life. She begins her song by saying “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” She then goes on to tell about her Lord. Let’s continue to look at her song, and at the qualities of God that she knew so well as to be able to put complete trust in Him for all things.
1. God is a Savior and His Salvation Brings Joy
My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Luke 1:47
Right here we see that her spirit HATH REJOICED in her Saviour. God has been her Saviour. HAS BEEN is past tense. In the previous verse she spoke of God as her Lord, meaning master. He IS her Master because He HAS BEEN her Savior. First and foremost, before God is our Lord, our Master, He must have already been our Savior.
Another important thing to notice about this portion of scripture is that even Mary had need of a savior. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Contrary to some religious tradtion, even Mary was not without sin, only Jesus.
Mary says that His salvation brings joy to her spirit. Salvation should always bring joy to the believer.
2. God cares for His Servants
For He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden; Luke 1:48a
Although he is a big God, He is not so big that He doesn’t see the little things. As Mary considers herself the Handmaiden of the Lord, she has confidence that God will care for her even in her “low estate” because she serves Him.
We must have confidence that God will care for us when we are serving Him. We must know that any obstacle that appears to be holding us back from serving Him was already considered when He called us. How else are we going to have the courage to step out and do the things He calls us to do?
3. God is a Blesser
Henceforth all generations shall call me blessed Luke 1:48b
- Mary had such confidence in the things that were told her by the angel and in the character of God that she speaks of future generations calling her blessed. Wouldn’t you love for all generations to call you blessed? Not for your sake, but for God’s sake. Wouldn’t it be great for future generations to know the extent of what God has done in your life? I would love for my faith in God be so apparent to my children and grandchildren that there is no question of where the good things in my life have come from. The gifts of God don’t reflect on the recipient of the gifts, but on the gracious, merciful Giver of the gifts.
- It is really something that God can do something in our lives so great, that it will not only have an effect on me, but it will increase the faith of our future generations. What a testimony.
4. God is Able
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; Luke 1:49a
- Here Mary expresses her confidence in God’s strength, ability, power, wealth and influence. God is HE THAT IS MIGHTY. In the Hebrew language, this phrase refers to one who is able to “bear calamities with strength and fortitude.”
- He is not weak. There is none that can overpower God. There is no problem that God can’t handle (if we let Him!).
- In this verse Mary also expresses her personal experience with God. In a previous post we discovered that believing the word leads to knowing the truth. In her past, Mary has put her trust in God and has seen the great things her has done for her. She has a personal testimony of the mightiness of God. We need to remember the times when God has shown Himself strong on our behalf and use those times to help us know the truth about His strength and ability to work in our lives.
5. God is Holy
and holy is His name. Luke 1:49b
- God is HOLY. He is so holy that even His name is holy. He is perfect, just, righteous. There is none like Him. We need to have confidence in the holiness of God. We can accept the plans of an infinitely Holy God!
- I heard somewhere recently if we knew all that God knows, we would always choose what God chooses.
So as I thought about that, I came up with this question: (follow me here…)
If we know that if we knew what God knows, we would agree with Him, can’t we just agree with him, even though we don’t know what he knows? Know what I mean?
6. God is Merciful
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. Luke 1:50
- It seems almost ironic that He would have mercy on those that fear him. If you fear someone, it is not usually because they are going to show you mercy! But we are not talking about being scared of God-we are talking about reverence to an all powerful, Holy God. He is a merciful God.
- The word mercy in this context means kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.
- Many people have a fear of God that is completely inconsistent with His character. They find themselves too scared to act in faith, because they are afraid to mess up, that He’ll “get them” if they make a mistake. He’s not just sitting up in heaven waiting for His opportunity to thump us on the head!
- He is so merciful that his mercy extends to other generations. I’m glad that God doesn’t run out of mercy. He sure could have used it up on me, but my kids need some too!
7. God is Strong
He hath shewed strength with his arm; Luke 1:51a
All throughout the Bible there is imagery of the mighty outstretched arm of God. He has redeemed us with His outstretched arm, His arm is not too short too save, He has defeated the enemies of the people of God with His mighty outstretched arm, He has even chastened His own people and brought judgment with His arm. Mary has confidence in being safe in the strong arms of God.
8. God is Just
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. Luke 1:51-52
- If we could only believe the truth about this part of God’s character-that he is just and fair – then maybe we could really stop trying to equalize those things that we think are not fair. I know I can waste a lot of time either worrying about what I perceive as injustice. I can spend a lot of energy trying unsuccessfully to to God’s work based on this “That’ not fair!”
- What peace comes from knowing that God is just and fair and knows the hearts of people. That the mighty will be put down, and those of low degree will be exalted. Mary recognized her status as being of low degree, but knew that only God could exalt her in the way that He had chosen.
9. God is the Provider of Good Things
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. Luke 1:53
- Right here, Mary says simply that He has filled the hungry with good things. He Hasn’t filled the hungry with bare minimum, or with the leftovers of the wealthy. He has filled the hungry with GOOD THINGS. He is OUR PROVIDER. I don’t have to have confidence in my bank account, or gas prices, or the president, so long as I have confidence in My God the provider of Good things. If we are in physical need, He has good things for us.
- If we are spiritually hungry, He is the ONLY ONE that can provide you with good things! He has the power to fill us spiritually, and empty those who need to be hungry for the things of God.
10. God is a Covenant Keeper
He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
- Through Mary’s study in God’s Word, she knew of His redemption plan for Israel, how He had helped Israel and had always remembered His people. She knew that He was a God who kept His promises. As such, she was invited to be part of the next part of His plan. She was to be a vessel through which the Savior of the world would be born.
- God wants us to be part of His redemption plan also. He has invited us to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, to taste and see His goodness, and to proclaim it to the World.
As you consider the qualities of God that we’ve looked at were there any areas of God’s character that were new to you or surprised you? Have there been any areas about God’s character that you have believed wrongly about or misunderstood in the past? How has this misunderstanding affected your walk with Him? If there is a specific difficult circumstance in your life right now, which aspects of God do you most need to focus on to increase your faith?
I’m thankful that God shows us time and again throughout His word who He is and that time and again He is good! If we believe the truth about God, we can answer the call as Mary did:
…Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. Luke 1:38
I’m a Believer!