The Truly Happy People of God 8/14/2011Anna and the Christ Child
The names Luke includes in his brief treatment of Anna have significant meanings. Anna means "Grace," "Phanuel" means "the face of God" and Asher means "happy."Asher was the name given to the eighth son of Jacob by Leah. She was competing with her sister for Jacob's attention. When Asher was born, Leah had given Jacob six of his eight sons. This made her "happy" for she thought this would make her the enviable wife. But her happiness did not last. Jacob still favored Rachel.
The tribe of Asher sought happiness by pursuing worldly wealth with pagan nations. But this did not bring true happiness. The tribe was deported along with the rest of the northern kingdom.
Asher did not find fulfillment until Anna arrived on the scene. She had neither children or wealth, but she sought the Lord, the only source of genuine happiness. She was favored with the gift of beholding the face of God in the infant Christ. Anna understood what Psalm 144:15 tells us, "happy are the people whose God is the Lord!"