In between the Old Testament and the New Testament lies a period of time in which God’s people lived under six different governments. And silence.
Four hundred years of silence to be exact.
God who had led them with a cloud by day, fire by night, who had thundered from the mountaintop, defeated their enemies, and spoken to them through the prophets was done talking. He was silent. He was not heard from in any way for four hundred years.
Try to capture what it must have felt like because I for one, do not do well with the silent treatment.
I had been thinking on this period of silence in contrast to the birth of Christ.
A flurry of heavenly activity began when the angel appeared first to Zechariah. Communication from on high finally resumed. Mary and Joseph are prepared by angels for the biggest task ever given to humans – the birth of God’s Son.
The night He was born, they were traveling and Mary goes into labor. With no lodging available to them, she gave birth to Him, wrapped Him in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger. Scripture goes on to tell us:
“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared among them and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.” (Luke 2:8-9, NLT)
The very night of His birth, an angel came to make the announcement to shepherds – common folks – because Jesus came to be with the poor, the humble, and the common.
The angel brings his good news of the birth of the Savior, the long awaited Messiah. He tells them where to find Him and how they will be able to recognize Him.
But it is what occurs next that grabbed my attention …
“Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast of host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:14, NLT)
A host of others, the armies of heavens, all join in praise. A heavenly chorus. A glorious alleluia.
When Christ arrived and appeared, He broke the silence and praise erupted.
Should not our joy be even greater?
While God’s people had waited and anticipated the arrival of the the Messiah, He has now come to us and we can be in His Presence every day. He has given us His Holy Spirit to reside in us and we can approach the throne of God, boldly, in prayer.
Today may we praise Him. May our hearts be filled with thanksgiving for He came to earth to be our Savior, our Healer, our Deliverer, and our Comforter. May our hearts be so filled with praise that we cannot contain it. May we be so filled with His joy, the joy of knowing Him, that it spills out, overflowing to all who may be around.
May the silence be broken.
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”