Silent Nights (Day 17)
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. ~ Galatians 4:4-5
It was quiet – very quiet for a long, long time. There had been no word from God for 400 years. The Old Testament ends, and it will not be until another 400 years that Heaven speaks again. The nation of Israel had a history of God’s activity and prophetic voice in their midst for over 1000 years. Yahweh had formed Israel as a people and offered them great promises for the future – promises of a leader, a Redeemer, and a King who would come to rescue them. Then suddenly there was silence.
In the 400 year period of silence, the world was actually changing rapidly. Alexander the Great has conquered the world creating a united and connected world under his reign. Alexander gave way to the rise of the Roman Empire which squashed all of its enemies. The dominance of Rome actually created a time of unique peace and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. With no threat of war, Rome built roadways for travel throughout the empire. Under Alexander, the world had adopted the Greek language and alphabet enabling the ease of communication across the Empire. The season of peace also made for greater safety across the land. The stage was actually perfectly set for the rapid rise and spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While there had been no revelation and word from God outwardly, it was as if God were pulling all of the strings from behind the scenes. The apostle Paul
once wrote, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
The 400-year silence was perhaps a dark and lonely season where Israel felt forgotten and forsaken. They wondered if God would ever speak again, and then Yahweh broke the silence. The Lord spoke again, and the Word became flesh. The Pax Romana had brought about the “fullness of time,” the perfect for moment for Jesus Christ to enter our world. The birth of Jesus brought light into the darkness, and the Living Word into a lost broken world. With the resurrection of Jesus and the Spirit being poured out at Pentecost, the Gospel of Jesus Christ spread like a fire all over the Empire in a rather short period of time. The period of silence was long forgotten as the Good News rang out throughout the land offering hope and healing to all in Jesus name.
Have you ever walked through a season of silence wondering if God has forgotten and forsaken you? Have you been in a place wondering if He would ever speak again? It is easy for spiritual apathy and compromise to settle into our hearts in times like these. Then one word from heaven changes everything. God speaks, silence fades, and the Spirit lights the fire once again in our hearts. And who knows what God was doing in the silence all along. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Jesus is not done with you. In His silence, don’t assume His absence. In the quiet, don’t conclude He is done. Christmas broke up a 400 year silent pause, and the birth of life of Jesus revealed that God had so much more yet to say. God is not done with you!
· Have you experienced what seemed like a period of enduring silence? Are you in such a season now? If so, what are you feeling? What are you choosing to believe about God?
· What does the Pax Romana “season of silence” demonstrate about God’s sovereignty and work even when you do not hear his voice?
· Can you hold on to the Lord in faith, and trust that He will speak again in the fullness of time?
ACTIVATING YOUR FAITH
· Though it may seem hard, can you seek to still show up to God in consistent Worship with the body? Consistent devotional and Bible reading? Consistent seeking in prayer?
· Take the right next steps in faith and by faith believing the testimony of scripture that God is not done, and that He still has much more to say to you.
· With all the courage you can muster, shake off unbelief and discouragement and trust that God is working in great ways behind your back in this season.