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Summary: Mary fulfilled the prophecy in Isaiah, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

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Mary, the Original Rags to Riches Story

Characters of Christmas Series – Message One - 2008

Gages Lake Bible Church

December 7, 2008

Pastor Daniel Darling

Intro:

• Mary, either was worshipped or forgotten

• Mary, while not deity, is a powerful role model for woman

• But Mary’s story tells us more about our God than about ourselves

1) When God is Silent, God is Active (Galatians 4:4)

a. Beginning in Genesis, God had promised a Redeemer

i. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Genesis 3:15 (KJV)

b. Isaiah promised a virgin would conceive

i. Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14 (KJV)

c. Malachi predicts John the Baptist’s coming and Jesus’ Coming .

i. Behold, I will send My messenger, and He shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 3:1 (KJV)

d. But the Old Testament closes with Israel in captivity, but having settled back in Jerusalem

e. But God doesn’t sleep

i. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:4 (KJV)

f. God keeps His promises

i. He hath remembered His mercy and His truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the Earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Psalm 98:3 (KJV)

g. God’s timing was perfect

i. But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Galatians 4:4 (KJV)

h. Key Events in Silent Years: (Most predicted accurately by Daniel)

i. Alexander the Great, a Greek, conquered the world.

1. He took control of Syria, which controlled Palestine

2. He made the Greek language and culture the language and culture of the world.

a. The Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek (The Septuagint) and published throughout the world.

b. This made the spread of the Gospel easier (by Paul and other apostles and missionaries).

ii. Palestine was a pawn in the power struggles of Syria and Egypt

iii. Maccabees had successful struggle for independence.

iv. Hasmoneans descendants of Maccabees

v. Pompey the Great conquered Palestine and brought it under iron rule of Rome

1. He installed Herod the Great as governor –

a. (fulfilling prophecy of Jewish massacre

(Jeremiah 31:15)

b. Fulfilling prophecy of the flight to Egypt

(Hosea 11:1)

2. Caesar Augustus taxed the people

a. Caused them to have to travel back to Bethlehem, fulfilling prophecy in Micah 5:2.

b. Augustus Caesar was ruling, but God was in charge, for He used Caesar's edict to move Mary and Joseph eighty miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem to fulfill His Word. Rome took a census every fourteen years for both military and tax purposes, and each Jewish male had to return to the city of his fathers to record his name, occupation, property, and family.

3. Rome established roads and highways, enabling the spread of the Gospel later (Paul utilized Roman highways for his missionary journeys)

vi. Establishment of Religious Culture that ultimately rejected Christ (Isaiah 53:3)

1. Sanhedrin, ruling religious body

2. Local Synagogues

3. Political sects (Pharisees, Sadducees)

i. When God is Silent, God is Active

i. God was preparing the world for the coming of the Messiah

ii. Does God Seem Silent in Your Life?

1. You’re Single and Waiting for a Christian Mate

2. You’re enduring health issues and it seems God is silent

3. You’re without a job and wondering what His purpose is.

iii. God is actively at work, behind the scenes, in your life

1. He told Habakkuk “I’m working a work which you won’t believe.”

a. Times of waiting for me to become pastor.

2) When God Speaks, He Speaks in Dramatic and Unusual Ways

(Read Luke 1:26-29)

a. He Sent Gabriel

i. The man of God, the hero of God or the mighty one of God.

ii. Gabriel was a special angel.

1. He only appeared three times

a. Appearing to Daniel to explain God’s plan for Israel and the world.

b. Appearing to Zacharias to announce the miraculous birth of John the Baptist

c. Appearing to Mary

d. Appearing in Nazareth, a seedy, backwater village, hated by the rest of Israel.

2. God had not spoken in 400 years—now here is Gabriel

3. Interestingly, Gabriel didn’t appear to Joseph, another angel did.

iii. Mary “wondered what kind of salutation this was”

1. My translation: “What’s going on here?”

b. God often speaks through unusual and dramatic methods

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