“ Some times the sun seems to hang for half an hour in the horizon, only just to show how glorious it can be. The day is gone, the fervour of the shining is over, and the sun hangs golden—nay, redder than gold—in the west, making everything look unspeakably beautiful with the rich effulgence which it sheds on every side. So God seems to let some people, when their duty in this world is done, hang in the west, that may look on them, and see how beautiful they are.” Such was the aged Anna.
Ⅰ. Anna was a prophetess ( Luke 2:36). As a prophet was one who received messages from God, through being in immediate communication with Him, so a prophetess was the same. Dr. Bullinger says, “ The usage of the word is clear, it signifies one on whom the Spirit of God rested ( Nun. 11:17,25,26,29); one to whom God makes known His mysteries ( Amos 3:7,8). Hence it means one to whom God reveals His truth, and through whom He speaks” ( Gen.20:7,17,18).
Ⅱ. Anna was a servant of God ( verse 37). It It said of her that she “ served God.” What better epitaph could one have, than a testimony of having served the Lord? “Ye serve the Lord Christ” (Col.3:24)was the apostle’s word to the Christian slaves at Colosse as he urged them to do their menial tasks as unto the Lord Himself. A carpenter was once asked why he troubled to finish off a magistrate’s bench so carefully. His reply was, “ I can’t do otherwise; besides, I may have to sit on it one of these days.” A better reply was given by the little servant girl when she was asked why she took such pains in washing the doorstep, “ I am doing it for the Lord Jesus.” Ah! Of anything be done for, and as to Him it will be done well.
Ⅲ. Anna was self-denying. It is said she fasted (verse 37). Anna did not fast, as some do, to obtain favour with God. But, knowing the grace of the Lord, she was willing to deny herself food that she might serve the Lord better.
Ⅳ. Anna was prayerful (verse 37). Her prayers ascended to God “ night and day.” She was incessant in her pleading, and attentive in her attendance at the means of grace. An old writer says. “Pray each morhing before we go out on life’s pathway, we shall unlock the mercies God has for us; and if we look to Him at the close of the day, we shall know that we are locked in with God from all harm and evil, as Noah was when the Lord shut him in the ark.
Ⅴ. Anna was thankful. Simeon was not alone in his thanks giving, for Anna “gave thanks likewise unto the Lord” ( verse 38). Praise is comely to the Lord. Those who bless God with their praises are sure to be blessed by God with His mercies. A thankful man is full of blessing. To be thankless is to be graceless, but to be thankful is to be graceful.
Ⅵ. Anna was a true witness. “ She spake of Him” (verse 38). Her testimony of Christ as the Redeemer, is implied in that she “ spake of Him to all that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” A true witness always tells out what Christ is, what He has done, and what He is able to do, as known from personal experience.
── F.E. Marsh《Five Hundred Bible Readings》