We get nervous when we don’t hear from people. We wonder what is wrong. We fret.
The Israelites became pretty fretful as they waited through the 400 years of God’s silence that stretched between the last of the prophets and the first coming of the Messiah.
People were born and died. Fields were tilled, buildings built, and meals were cooked. Families grew and waned; Jerusalem became a bustling city, and the Israelites spread out over the Promised Land. Conquerors arose and claimed the land as theirs, inflicting rule, and bondage, and taxes on the people. Priests served in the Temple maintaining the rituals, but the life was missing.
Where was God? Did He hear their cries; could He see their pain?
The faithful, like Zachariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1), held on. They continued praying. They served. They waited.
Sometimes it feels like we are caught in years of silence. The routines continue, moving us steadily through time like passengers on a conveyor belt in an airport. We continue to pray, or maybe we are on automatic and we robotically expect day to follow day.
We live appalled at the violence, and the degradation, and the apathy, and we wonder, “Where is God?”
God is here, and God is at work.
The 400 years between the Old and New Testaments were silent years for Israel, but they were not idle years for God. While the Israelites followed God based on the legacy of faith passed down from one to another, kept the teaching from the synagogues, and offered worship in the Temple, God was working.
When the teaching was tainted by man’s interpretation and political strategy, God maintained a remnant of faithful believers who looked for and longed for the Messiah.
God was silent, but He was still at work, and in the fullness of time He brought forth His Son (Galatians 4:4).
God is still at work in the world today.
We may not be able to trace His every move, but we can trust His faithfulness and character. When the very foundations of our lives seem to crumble, He is still in control and He will accomplish His purpose.
I may not understand His timing or be able figure out His next move, but I can rest secure in the knowledge that He alone is God, and He is love, and He is good.
The Israelites waited through 400 years of silence, but then the Day Star (Jesus) dawned in Israel. Today, the Day Star lives in my heart, and I am waiting for His return.
II Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.