The Song of Mary
“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.”
These verses comprise a song of worship very similar to the song of Deborah (Judg. 5:1-31) and the song of Hannah (I Sam. 2:1-10).
There are songs and prayers of worship and songs and prayers of praise. Praise is the acknowledgment of what the Lord has done, is doing, and shall do. Worship is acknowledging God for who He is. It is exaltation of the goodness of God, and God’s goodness is centered around the cross. Calvary is the greatest expression of God’s goodness toward humanity.
In the words of Mary’s song we are given a road map directing us through the journey of life.
Magnify The Lord
Mary would sing, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” The word magnify means to “declare great”; a better definition would be “to declare the greatness of God.” Every day we should declare the goodness of God. In doing this we focus on the Lord and not on ourselves. This is a wonderful truth during times of oppression. The more one magnifies the Lord the less emphasis is placed on that believer, which is what oppression or depression does.
Mary said, “My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” No matter what the trials and tribulations of life may be, the believer has something to rejoice about and that is his salvation. No matter what one may not have in the material sense, what the believer has spiritually far out distances the latter.
Mary’s circumstances in the natural were not good. Though she was in the lineage of David, the throne of David had ceased to exist; hence she was of low estate. Royalty on earth did not recognize her, but the royalty of heaven did recognize her, therefore she would proclaim, “For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden.” It doesn’t matter how the world sees you, only how God sees you.
Mary said, “All generations shall call me blessed.” This statement is prophecy fulfilled. As well, the word blessed means “a recipient of grace.” Grace is the goodness of God given to undeserving man. All who are saved are recipients of grace, therefore we are blessed. Salvation is the Christian’s greatest blessing.
Mary said, “For He that is mighty hath done to me great things.” This phrase speaks of the power of God, which could alone bring forth the incarnation, which was the power of the Holy Spirit. As believers we also have the Holy Spirit working on our behalf in order to do great things for the children of God. Justification is great; sanctification is great; healing, and all that the Lord has for us, is great.
Holy Is His Name
This proclaims His attribute of holiness and proclaims that it is bound up in His name. His name is holy because His character, nature, and His very essence is holy. He is holy, and we must never misuse His wonderful name.
Mary said, “His mercy is on them that fear Him.” Mercy is a product of grace. Men today are fond of demanding justice, but the reality is that man needs mercy, and whenever sinful man accepts Christ, mercy rewrites his life. Mercy is always tied to the fear of God. The fear of God is rooted in the understanding that we deserve nothing, but because of the grace of God, we receive the good things of God. It’s not that we are scared of God, but godly fear is a holy awe and respect.
She then says, “From generation to generation,” meaning this promise is forever.
Verse 51 says, “He hath shewed strength with His arm.” This proclaims the power of God.
Psalm 63:8 says, “My soul followeth hard after thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me.”
Psalm 37:24 says, “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand.” As stated, this speaks of God’s power. His power protects us, strengthens us, helps us, and fights for us.
Luke 1:51 ends by stating, “He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.” The Lord ignores the proud and the haughty but shines His glory on the humble.
Luke 1:52 says, “He puts down the mighty from their seats and exalts them of low degree.” Once again, humility is stressed here. Luke 18:14 says, “For everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
Luke 1:53 says, “He hath filled the hungry with good things.”
Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: For they shall be filled.” Filled with what? Good things!
“The rich He hath sent empty away,” (Lk. 1:53). Revelation 3:17 says, “Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing: And knowest not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”
Finally, Mary said, “He hath helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; as He spoke to our fathers to Abraham and to his seed forever.”
Mary’s song begins with “magnifying the Lord,” and closes with the promises of God being remembered forever.
The song of Mary—may we ever learn and walk in its intent.
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