“And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with a husband seven years after her marriage and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. And she never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. And at that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:36-38. (NASB)
Have you ever known an elderly person who loves the Lord. I have known a few women and I just love being around them. They are bold in their faith. I remember a woman I used to go to Washington, DC with. We would walk into the Hilton and she would ask everyone we met if they knew Jesus. She would not let them get away with just a sweet smile. She would say it again, “Do you know Jesus?” Then she would boldly tell them of her Lord whom she loved. I think of her at this time of year when I once again read the story of Anna.
Anna’s name means grace and her Father’s name, Phanuel, means face of God.
This precious lady appears to have been married for only seven years when her husband died. It seems that after the death of her husband she dedicated her life to serving in the temple through prayer and fasting. She must have come to know the Lord intimately in that time. She knew Him so well she was able to speak words of knowledge and revelation. She is called a Prophetess. She took one look at Jesus and said that Jesus was the redemption of Jerusalem!! She became, to the best of my knowledge, the first evangelist as she spoke “to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” I wonder if she continued to stay in the temple or if she went to the streets. Either way I would imagine no one got past her.
She was of the tribe of Asher. Asher means happy. In Gen. 33:24-25 Moses blessed Asher with the blessing of children and this tribe was one of the most numerous. According to Keil and Delitzsch commentary on the Old Testament this is “equivalent to the most blessed of all the sons of Israel, the one who peculiarly favored by the Lord.”
So here we have the elderly widow named Anna, a woman of the tribe of Asher, the daughter of Phanuel. She recognizes and proclaims Jesus, the redemption of Jerusalem!! In other words………a happy elderly woman who had dedicated her life to the Lord and who, by His grace, beheld the face of God, was the most blessed among women of the tribe of Asher to tell all the good news!!
Truly “…those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” Is. 40:31(NASB)
Be encouraged ladies, be very encouraged!! You may have been waiting a long time for your miracle. You may have been in prayer and fasting and are getting weary. DON’T give in to that weariness!! In this New Year mount up on wings like eagles!! Be bold in your faith and expect the grace of God to be released upon YOU!! PRESS on toward the goal in Christ Jesus!! (Phil. 3:14)
References used in writing this:
A Time to Advance by Chuck Pierce with Robert and Linda Heidler, Glory of Zion International, Inc.