We have finished reading the Old Testament. Today and tomorrow my chronological Bible reading consists of commentary about what is called the “Intertestamental Period” (between the Testaments). Did you ever wonder why the Bible is called the “Old” and “New” Testaments? The word testament means “covenant.” Everything we’ve read up to now has described the first covenant, the old covenant between God and men. In the O.T., we’ve seen covenants given to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. In the N.T., Jesus will bring a “New” Covenant – His sacrificial death on the cross, the covenant of His blood which redeems us. The New Covenant in Jesus changes everything!
The time period between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New is also called the “400 Years of Silence.” Who is silent? God. Other than several apocryphal books written, which are not accepted as divinely inspired by God, there is no record of God speaking to or through His people during this time. There are, however, many things that happen that will set up the perfect moment in history for Jesus to appear on the scene, “in the fullness of time.” (Galatians 4:4)
The last words from God the people heard were the promises of a Messiah, a king who would come and rescue them from their oppressors and set up His kingdom. But for 400 years, those promises were unfulfilled. They continued to suffer under tyrannical rulers. They continued to struggle. And they heard nothing from God. History, however, proves that even though they could not see anything happening, God was working, arranging the perfect time, the perfect place, the perfect order of events that would allow His eternal plan of salvation to be unfolded.
Tomorrow we’ll look at a short summary of those historical events that happened, information that is good for us to have as we begin the New Testament. But for today, here’s my question for you. What do you do when God is silent? Have you ever experienced a time when despite your prayers, it seemed to you that He was not listening? Not paying attention? Not interested in speaking to you?
Take heart. The silence may be deafening, but you can trust that God is still at work where you can’t see it. Be patient. Wait for Him. His clock does not move at the same pace as ours. As the psalmist encourages us, keep pouring out your heart to Him and find your strength in His presence. One day the silence will end, and you will see salvation!
Psalm 62:5-8 – My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him; He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.”