Immediately following her description as a prophetess, we read about her genealogy. Understanding her roots, teaches you so much more about her faithfulness than you might realize.
Anna was not just your average Hebrew girl. Her father, Phanuel, was of the tribe of Aser. This tribe remained among the less faithful in the north. As punishment for their unfaithfulness, invaders continually wreaked havoc on their people. With many carried off into slavery and the rest dwindling in iniquity, only a few escaped to worship faithfully in Judah. Her family was obviously one of these.
What led her family to follow God’s commands instead of the rest of Israel? We may never know. How thankful I am that they remained faithful despite the generations of unfaithfulness. How like this separation is our world now? How many feel like they dwell amongst the sinful Israel and long to return to Judah to endure with the most faithful?
Sometimes I can definitely feel that way. I turn on my news and it is all murder, drugs, promiscuity. Whatever happened to following the laws of morality?
A person’s past greatly determines their likely course for the future. With a family history like Anna’s, it is little wonder she ended up serving in the Temple after her husband’s death.
The second verse informs us that she did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayer night and day. Are you dedicated enough to flatten your knees with that much prayer? When you devote that kind of time in things of God, your faith will grow in leaps and bounds. Maybe we can’t spend our days as Anna did, but she teaches us an important lesson.
Faith without works is dead. When you don’t practice your faith, how can you expect it to blossom and grow? It withers and dies. You need to feed your faith. It finds nourishment in prayer, scripture study, worshiping the Lord.
Maybe you cannot give the time that Anna gave at this juncture of your life. You can however remember to pray daily, fast on occasion, study His word. Fifteen minutes out of your day to pray and quickly read something is not too much to give.
Anna married and within seven years lost her husband. We do not know the cause, or even his name. How devastated she must have been! She apparently had no children, or she turned her life to God after they grew to adulthood. In that time, adulthood came far sooner than today. Given such a circumstance, she could easily turn away from God. Not our Anna! She let it become a positive thing in her life.