400 Years of Silence

silencePre-silence: fig leaf promise.

Before the fig leaves were dry on Adam and Eve’s new garden clothing, God promised a way out for their sin.  He signified it by providing garments of skin (animal clothing) – no doubt from the sacrifice of an animal. He promised a Savior.

God led His people through the Red Sea and across desserts. He provided manna and quail for nutrition, water from a rock, and protected them as they traipsed through enemy territory, through the Jordan River and to the Promised Land. The people kept falling away from the path He wanted them to go. They’d sin – then repent – then sin again.

It seems they forgot how good they had it – and forgot God. That is why He allowed them to become prisoners in another land. Years later, the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon, but were still not following God. That is when God sent Malachi with a message for His people.

The Old Testament closes with a warning from  Malachi. “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”.

The silent voice

That is when God was silent. 400 years of silence. The people waited and waited. For 400 years, they waited. God continued to be silent. Did that mean the promise was broken? Did it mean the promise was not to be?

The people waited in darkness and in silence for that promise to be fulfilled. While they waited, they pondered how this would happen – who would be the virgin promised so many years ago?

silenceGod breaks the silence

The silence of God ended with the coming of John the Baptist, the Messiah’s forerunner.

At the appointed time, He came. Scripture calls it in the fullness of time. Virginity represented impossibility for Mary to become a mother. She could not figure out what the salutation of the angel meant – but she was willing for God to move into the impossible and bring His son through her.

Mary opened herself to the possibility instead of claiming it could not be. What seemed to be impossible would be possible through God.

She prepared herself – and her heart.

Every heart

This Christmas, I think about the words in the song Joy to the World. He can’t come to us unless we first prepare our hearts. Let every heart prepare Him room. 

There are times God seems silent. Is it because we have strayed? Is it because we’ve sinned and fallen from communion with Him?

This I know: He waits for us to prepare for Him. He does not give up. Instead, He watches for hearts that are prepared.

Only then will He come.

pintrest silence


To hear Joy to the World, click on this link.

Attribution for photos belongs to and

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