Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 4 Study # 6
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
1901 ASV Translation:
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
There are no differences between the text of the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26.
April 4, 2004
- 1. Mary speaks of the result of God's dealings with her in her spirit.
- 1. It appears rather obvious from Mary's statement that she considers that her "spirit" can "rejoice".
- a. This means that the "spirit" is capable of emotive reaction.
- b. However, we need to remember that it was the imparting of "spirit" to the Man of Dust that gave the Man of Dust the capacity to begin active functions [Genesis 2:7]. Throughout Scripture, it is the "S(s)pirit" that imparts "ability to function" to its "residence" (the body that it inhabits). In manifold places it is "spirit" that is credited with "accomplishment". This puts "emotive reaction" in a lesser place when the focus is upon "spirit". Emotive reaction is typically the domain of the "object" of regulated habitat (i.e. the "soul"--see the study notes of Luke on 2004/03/28)<063> as a re-sponder, not the typical domain of "spirit" as an initiator of behavior(s).
- 1) Of the distinctions between "soul" and "spirit", perhaps the chiefest one is that the "soul" is seen more in terms of a relatively passive emotive reactor while the "spirit" is cast in terms of a relatively aggressive actor (behavior producer).
- 2) That both have "reactive abilities", especially in terms of emotive responses, stands rather unchallenged by our text, but there is this to consider: the "soul" in our text is cast in terms of 'that which can determine where the focus of attention is going to be' ["my soul is magnifying the Lord"] and the "spirit" is cast in terms of a temporary spike of emotive response ["my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior"]. What does this mean?
- a) On the one hand, it means that a believer's "soul" has a capacity to focus a person's on-going attention ["my soul is magnifying].
- b) On the other hand, it means that a believer's "spirit" has a capacity to react to certain developments with at least a temporary spike of emotion.
- c) This means that there is at least some overlap between "soul" (which is typically the realm of emotive reaction to things that have transpired and have included the person within their impact) and "spirit" (which is typically the realm of initiatory action that, in a regulated habitat, will automatically cause things to 'transpire' with 'impact' -- like sowing seeds that have a built-in harvest downline). Apparently the "soul" can activate "focus" and just as apparently the "spirit" can "feel" emotively.
- 2. It also appears rather obvious that Mary's "spirit" has rejoiced because of what God has done to "save" her ["...rejoiced in God my Savior"].
- a. Interestingly, the notion of "salvation", generally, has strong overtones of someone acting powerfully on the behalf of another who is in serious danger without sufficient power to remedy the problem.
- b. Just as interesting is Mary's focus in her speech on how God has "rejected" those who seem to have sufficient power to deal with their 'dangers' and "acted" on behalf of those who seem to have no way to deal with their 'dangers'.
- c. And, thirdly, it stimulates our curiosity to see that the first 'danger' Mary considered worthy of mention is her former 'low' estate. "God [her] Savior" has acted "mightily" to move her from a 'low' estate to a position in which she is considered 'blessed' by all following generations. In other words, God has 'delivered' her from being 'of no account'. What does this mean?
- 1) Ultimately, the biblical doctrine of 'danger' is that persons of body, soul, and spirit, will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire.
- 2) The casting of a creature of spirit into the Lake of Fire is the final declaration of the worthlessness of the creature: he is 'of no account'.
- 3) Thus, ultimate salvation is deliverance from being determined to be 'of no account' and, as a natural consequence, being tossed into the 'garbage dump of the universe'.
- 4) But, Mary is already a 'bondservant' of the Lord, so she was in no danger of being cast into the Lake of Fire. Therefore, her interest was not upon being made 'worthy' of being kept from the ultimate danger. Instead, she is interested in being made 'worthy' of being the mother of the Lord. She was not looking for this high 'estate' as far as we know from Scripture. She was simply a believing young lady in the Galilean district of Israel who was engaged to be married to a man of the house of David. She was told by Gabriel that she had 'found a large measure of grace' in God's eyes. This means she was not particularly 'qualified' to be the mother of the Lord [grace is not grace if it is 'earned']. Thus, Mary found herself amazingly in the midst of the divine plan to bring His Redeemer into the world by means of a body of flesh that was to be developed in a human woman's womb. She considered this an enormous change of 'estate' for a rather significantly unqualified person of 'low estate'.
- 3. We can conclude, then, that Mary's "spirit" was significantly interested in 'being exalted'. When this occurred, this "spirit" exulted.
- a. The 'exaltation' of the spirit was in the choice of God to make Mary His instrument of the birth of His Son. This is related to our penchant for identifying 'exaltation' with 'performance' -- i.e. they are exalted who have 'great' things to accomplish, or who accomplish great things. The difference is that men think they can 'earn' the priviledge of being the instrument of God and the truth is that God selects His instruments with no regard for their prior actions. His is an 'election of grace' as Paul defines it in Romans 11. Even in the matter of believers being given spiritual gifts, it is the Spirit Who distributes them according to His choice and men, afterwards, are exalted by His grace.
- b. The 'exaltation' of the spirit was not going to be fully realized by men in this world in their generations. Only those who know what God is doing are impressed with His instruments and their qualifications for the task(s) He has given them.