Wednesday, March 25, 2009

400 Silent Years?!

I've been so swamped the last couple of days, that I haven't even been able to update my blog, so I apologize to those of you who 'religiously' look for a daily update. Any way, enough of the platitudes and let's get down to the business at hand. You see, I've been thinking a lot lately about a fascinating truth I discovered while listening to a friend. I spoke in church this past Sunday about the fact that God is at His most active in the 'apparent silent' moments of our lives. Those moments in time when we think that we need to hear from God the most, and the heavens appear to be 'brass' (when our prayers don't seem to go beyond the ceiling), are often the moments in which He is working His greatest work in us and for us. He's preparing us for something and preparing something for us.

Consider the time between the Old and the New testaments. The page in the NIV Bible that separates these two time periods, is generally inscribed with the words "400 years of silence." Amazingly the New Testament opens up with the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the story of His birth. What happened during the 400 silent years? Well, for one thing, Alexander the great conquered the known world (356 BC) and then wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. The Old Testament closes with the knowledge that Persia is the ruling power of the day, while the New Testament clearly shows a shift in the balance of power from the East to the West, as Rome is now the emergent ruling global power. Consider the fact that God always planned that Jesus would die on a Roman cross to pay the penalty for the sin of mankind. Alexander had no idea that he was an unwitting tool in the hand of God to orchestrate that shift in power so that Rome would be the ascendant power in the days when Jesus walked the earth, therebye paving the way for God's purpose to be accomplished. This plan was not set in motion at the birth of Jesus, but during the 400 silent years when Alexander conquered the reigning global powers.

God does not react to the human condition, so regardless of how dire your straits may seem to be at this point in time, God isn't about to change His plan in direct reaction to your plight. In much the same way that God was silent in the 400 years between the Old and the New Testaments, yet He was orchestrating a masterplan that would free the world from the bondage of sin, He is still at work in your life and mine (especially in those silent seasons) to ensure that His plans and purposes are accomplished. His plan was always the ultimate and best plan for all of our lives, and "In the fullness of time" (Galatians 4: 4) it will be played out. So even when there are '400 seemingly silent years' in your life, the fact that God is silent, in no way suggests that He's not actively working to bring about His best for your life and mine. Pause and think about that!


Ash said...

little behind this week-

so this "silent" time period is one of the most fascinating to me, actually.

alexander the great was an incredible commander of the known world at that time and legacy after. it was also the development of hellenistic greece, just following socrates, plato and aristotle. the romans, themselves were obsessed w/ all things greek, and the transition of art, philosophy and even government style made a huge impact on how the western world exists today.

it's actually amazing...

and then came "i am..."

Joseph said...

Ash, that may arguably be the most brilliant piece of prose you've ever written (at least that I've read)! :)

"After all the known worlds were conquered; after the greatest season of art, philosophy and conquest; after Alexander the Great, Socrates, Aristotle and the Hellenes had created a utopian civilizarion... Then came I AM..." (My paraphrase)

Ash said...

thank you very much, i suppose i have poetic moments.

but sir, this was a fantastic post. wink