Morning Reading for January 24

Luke 2:36-38
Suggested further reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24 - 10:6

The facts recorded about Anna are few and simple but full of instruction. Anna was a woman of irreproachable character. After a married life of only seven years' duration she had spent eighty-four years as a lone widow (vv. 36-37). The trials, desolations and temptation of such a condition were probably very great. But Anna, by grace, overcame them all. She answered the description given by Paul (1 Tim. 5:5).

Anna was a woman who loved God's house (v. 37). She regarded it as the place where God especially dwelt. `Nearer to God, nearer to God,' was the desire of her heart, and she felt never so near as within the walls that contained the ark, the altar and the holy of holies. She could enter into David's words (Ps. 84:2).

Anna was a woman of great self-denial (v. 37). She was continually crucifying the flesh and keeping it in subjection by voluntary fastings. Being fully persuaded in her own mind that the practice was helpful to her soul, she spared no pains to keep it up.

Anna was a woman of much prayer (v. 37). She was continually communing with God, as her best Friend, about the things that concerned her own peace. She was never weary of pleading with him on behalf of others and, above all, for the fulfilment of his promises of Messiah.

Anna was a woman who held communion with other saints (v. 38). As soon as she had seen Jesus she spoke of him to others in Jerusalem who enjoyed the same hope. With her they walked by faith and not by sight. They lived in faith that the coming Redeemer would bring in holiness and righteousness.

Anna received a rich reward for all her diligence in God's service before she left the world. She was allowed to see him who had been so long promised and for whose coming she had so often prayed. Her faith was at last changed to sight and her hope to certainty.
For meditation: Anna is an example to us by which we will do well to measure our own lives. She was consistent, holy, prayerful and self-denying. Are we?

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