Isaiah 11:11-16 (11 and 16 excerpted) On that day the Lord will extend His hand a second time to recover—from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the coasts and islands of the west—the remnant of His people who survive…
There will be a highway for the remnant of His people
who will survive from Assyria,
as there was for Israel
when they came up from the land of Egypt.
As a widow, Anna felt alone enough. But if she thought about her tribe, her heritage, I imagine she felt even more disconnected.
Compared to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, Asher’s surviving numbers before the Babylonian captivity were small. I believe Luke specifies her heritage in the three verses about Anna because to meet someone who could trace a lineage to Jacob’s son Asher was still unusual at the time he wrote.
But God did not plan to leave those scattered and dispersed by Assyria lost forever to the cultures that assimilated them. God, relying on His Messiah, will identify his own from the midst of every nation.
Instead of predominantly Judah, all twelve tribes will fill the land as God intended. There will be so many who return that they will need a special highway built just for them!
Anna had to hope for that day. Perhaps, like many of the faithful at the time, she thought that the arrival of the Messiah and the re-establishment of Israel would be closer together in earthly chronology.
Or maybe she simple trusted God’s timing as she prayed for her people.
But one way or another, she knew that one day her physical aloneness would be no more. And until that time, God comforted her.
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas