Anna-Living A Life of Praise
As we open to Luke 2:36, and are introduced to the life of Anna, I'd ask you to underline two words in your mind. First, in v. 36 "she was of great age"—underline in your mind OLD. Second, in v. 37 "a widow of about 84 years"—underline in your mind ALONE.
There you go, in two words you could describe the woman we are going to meet today Anna was OLD and ALONE. Yet from this account God gives to us, this old and alone woman was also vibrant, filled with joy, overflowing with God's Word and in love with the Lord. She is just what any woman who knows the Lord would want to become…
An Old Testament Woman of Grace
Think about her resources to live this life we see, she had God's Word and the Spirit of God. But, just like most of the saints of Old Testament and the early church Anna had no personal copy of God's Word. They had to rely upon the Word they heard as it was read to them, or what they could copy down for themselves. So with limited access to the Word, she flourished because of the unlimited access she had to God.
In the context of our recent study of godly women, I would like to call Anna a powerful example of a grace-energized woman—from the Old Testament! And how does God describe godly, grace-energized women? Is she perfect? No, she is not perfect, but she has a life dominated by choices to obey and follow the Lord.
Anna, like any other grace-energized woman may fail here and there, sin now and then, give up from time to time—but her life is characterized and dominated by choices to seek to follow God's Word. That describes Anna, that describes a grace-energized woman, that is what God always wants, and that can describe YOU!
As we turn to Luke 2:36-40 and read this incredible account, open your heart to God's Word as He speaks to us today:
Luke 22: 36-40 "Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 39 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him." NKJV
God's Prescription for Old Age is Psalm 92
For all of her life Anna, when she went to the synagogue each Friday evening—had heard the same Psalm (as the 92nd Psalm is titled, it was the Sabbath Psalm) sung over and over, week after week. Think about those little details in God's Word. How old was Anna? Either she was 84 or 104 from v. 37. That means that she had heard Psalm 92 either about 4,472 times (if she was 84) or about 5,408 times if she was 104. That is an awful lot of times to hear these words and not be deeply impacted by them:
Psalm 92:12-15 "The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, 15 To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him." NKJV
I believe Anna is a model of what a godly, grace-energized woman ought to be. She heard, read, and believed God's Word enough to want live it by God's grace! That is all that God is looking for today. Women who believe Him enough to want to do His will as declared in the Bible. I hope that you are such a woman today!