Songs of the King #1
1. I have a little book titled Favorite Psalms: Growing Closer to God....It ends with three songs from the first two chapters of Luke.
2. The first one is the song of Mary, a song we need to know better.
a. Mary is not a god.
b. Neither is she a myth.
c. And we have some important things in common with her.
1. The circumstances in which it was sung
a. Mary has only recently consented to an astonishing announcement. (1:35, 38)
b. Her amazing faith was confirmed by a visit to her relative Elizabeth. (1:36-37, 39-42)
c. Elizabeth, upon recognizing her secret, pronounced a wonderful blessing upon Mary. (1:42-43, 45)
d. Mary responded with this hymn of beautiful praise....(reading of text)
2. The content of the song
a. These are the words of a person who had hidden God’s word in her heart.
i. Resembles the song of Hannah (1 Sam. 2).
ii. About sixty percent of it is borrowed from Old Testament phrases.
iii. It contains at least four direct quotes:
(1) Holy is his name (49b) is from Ps. 111:9.
(2) His mercy is for those who fear him (50a) is from Ps. 103:17.
(3) He has filled the hungry with good things (53a) is from Ps. 107:9.
(4) He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy (54) is from Ps. 98:3.
b. These are the words of a person who is not preoccupied with herself.
i. Express an awareness that God’s dealings with her not exclusive of his concern for, and his dealings with, others.
ii. After the first four verses she switches pronouns and drops the personal one.
iii. The phrases after that indicate that she understood God was exalting her in the same way he always exalts the humble. (48, 52)
c. These are the words of a person who hopes in the gracious initiative of God.
i. Notice how many of the phrases start with “he has”–Mary saw that what God has done is what makes the difference.
ii. She also say that what God had started because of his grace was going to make the difference in many lives besides her own (50).
iii. In fact, God’s dealings with her do become typical of his dealings with all of us.
(1) If we have known any blessedness, it is because “he who is mighty has done great things” for us. (49)
(2) If we are being true to him, in a real way Christ is being formed in us, too. (Gal. 4:4, 19)
3. The conditions of God’s blessing
a. God shows mercy on those who fear him. (50, 51)
i. Think of what the Bible says about “the fear of the Lord.”
(1) The beginning of wisdom
(2) There is no fear of God before their eyes
(3) Fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell
(4) Walking in the fear of the Lord
ii. Mary was above else characterized by godly fear. (29-30, 38)
iii. That kind of simple devotion is a precondition of his blessing for anyone.
b. God exalts the humble. (52)
i. This is what she saw in her own case (48), and it’s what she saw about his way with everybody–he is mindful of the lowly in spirit.
ii. God has always exalted the humble and brought down the proud. (1 Pet. 5:6; James 4:10)
(1) Israel and the Egyptian Pharaoh
(2) David and the older sons of Jesse
(3) Daniel and his friends in Babyon
(4) What Jesus taught and how his ministry turned out
iii. I wonder if the scene in John 13 started with Mary.
c. God fills the hungry. (53)
i. All the people in the narratives surrounding the birth of the Lord–Mary, Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna–were hungry in this way.
ii. Hunger–eager, expectant desire–is an indispensable condition of any spiritual blessing from God, and complacency or self-satisfaction is the greatest enemy of it.
iii. Matthew 5:6
iv. Not until there is hunger in our hearts is there any hope for us.
1. Mary’s Song is important for us:.
a. We need the blessing that was brought into the world by her, so we must have the qualities that were in her character.
b. We cannot do without godly fear, humility, and a hunger for righteousness.
2. God does what he says he will do. (54, 55)