December 11th 2016 [day 11]
Between the last chapter of the Old Testament and the New Testament, there are 4oo years of “nothing! “The 400 years of silence refers to the time between the Old Testament and New Testament, during which God did not speak to the Jewish people. The 400 years of silence began with the warning that closed the Old Testament: “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6) and the 400 years of silence ended with the promised miracle birth of John for Zechariah and Elizabeth and the coming of John the Baptist out of the wilderness some 30 years later as the Messiah’s forerunner.
Again, with a little bit of digging and meditating we see again two advents foretold. There were 400 years of silence. No Holy Spirit, no angels, no major or minor prophets! Just zip, nada, nuttin!! Why? Well why are there days, weeks, months or even years when we don’t hear from God?
- Because God chooses to be silent.
- Or we choose not to hear Him.
In this case it was God’s choice and timing. Israel, the people and the world were not yet ready for the Messiah’s first advent! Note the words in Luke 2:1. “At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire”. At what time? When everything was ready for the Messiah’s birth! But when they were ready [and] the time was right, suddenly, you couldn’t get a word in edge ways. An angel visited an ordinary priest after the priestly order of Abijah, who’s order it just so happened were on duty that specific day to go in to the holy of hollies and make sacrifices and prayers and it just so happened that it was Zechariah who was chosen by lot to go in. And it just so happened that it was this very Zechariah who would be the father of John the Baptist even though Zechariah was old and so too was his wife Elizabeth and not only old but barren too! Talk about giving God a challenge! And of course, their miracle child became the forerunner of the Messiah spoken of in Malachi, [the last book of of the Old Testament] and which coincidentally, is in the last chapter of that book and which “coincidentally”, these words were predicting John’s birth and mission and they are the very last words out of Gods mouth for 400 years till the angel spoke to Zechariah the priest who was “THE” father of the forerunner spoken of 400 years previously! “Coincidence?” Nah, God-incidence methinks!
Note also, God says “I am sending you the forerunner before “the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD”. That doesn’t mean the great and terrible day of the lord is speaking “about Christ’s first advent!” It is speaking of His 2nd! His 1st advent was full of grace, mercy and truth, humility and justice. His second will be a terrible day for the Christ rejectors, and especially for Jews who go through the tribulation period and still reject their Messiah a second time! To understand this aspect of prophesy, you have to understand that some prophecy is like mountain peaks! You are on one peak, but you see another peak way ahead on the horizon. But from the bottom of the mountain they look side by side! The above prophesy looks side by side, but it wasn’t! John came, Christ came 1st advent, and then Christ will come again in His 2nd advent with 2000 years plus between them! Hope that’s as clear as mud? 😀
APPLY: We’ll look at this a bit more tomorrow, but note and apply, God’s timing is perfect. At just the right time after 400 years God moved. So, there’s a lesson here! No matter how long we have to wait, God’s timing is always the best.
PRAYER: Abba Father, you know what is best and you know when is best! There’s so much that I want to happen now, but I’ve jumped ahead of you before and just like going on a red light at a junction, I’ve crashed my car, [my life.] You’ve always graciously picked me up again, but oh the pain I’d have avoided had I listened. So please help me to await your perfect time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.