Malachi 3:1-3, 5-6 (excerpted) “I will come to you in judgment, and I will be ready to witness against sorcerers and adulterers; against those who swear falsely; against those who oppress the widow and the fatherless, and cheat the wage earner; and against those who deny justice to the foreigner. They do not fear Me,” says the Lord of Hosts. 6 “Because I, Yahweh, have not changed, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed.” (HCSB)
As a prophetess living in the temple, Anna had access to the Word of God in two ways. First of all, she heard the priests, the Levites and the scribes read the Law and the Prophets. She heard them teach and apply the Scripture. And secondly, she heard what God spoke to her directly.
She knew from both sources that her life was not as it should be.
Not that she was discontent. She, like Paul later, had learned to be content in all things and circumstances as she walked with God. But in the God view, widows had priority for being noticed and taken care of. God loved widows and saw their plight. They, he says in his Word, should be given respect and the opportunity to work for their food. If they can’t labor, the law allows for them to be fed out of the offerings.
Did Anna ever earn her keep at the temple? Did she do more than prophesy while she lived there?
Maybe in her younger years she kept portions of the portions of the temple (where she could go) clean. Can you imagine how hard that would have been during the construction years? Just think of the dust and dirt!
But whatever the case, as a widow whose family did not provide her care, she was dependent on the mercy of those who passed her in the temple. As someone who was there day after dar, year after year, she saw and experienced all the people and the way they saw her.
Some saw her and pitied. Some gave her respect for her God-given gifts. Those who thought she should be elsewhere either scorned her or ignored her. Some may have admired her for standing with her convictions. While others, I’m sure, ridiculed her efforts.
But God saw someone he loved so much that he showed his son to her.
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas