Our Community Bible Study just began a study entitled ‘Gods Amazing Book’. I consider myself somewhat familiar with the inspired Word of God, but am always amazed at how the Spirit will inform me of new learning’s. Today, a fact that had escaped me was the 400 Silent Years. That is the time between the last post-exilic prophet (Malachi) and the birth of Christ – or the Old and New Testaments. What amazed me was the nudging of the Holy Spirit to explain that although those years are not chronicled in the Bible, God was at work! He was setting the stage for the coming of the Messiah by changing global power sources, fulfilling prophecies and allowing the world to become ready and accepting of a Savior, Jesus Christ.
I took a closer look at those 400 years and marveled at God’s timing and time-keeping. Among the things that happened…the world power shifted from the east to the west; the Medes and Persians had taken control from the Babylonians (Daniel had prophesied this 7:5); enter Alexander the Great from Macedonia and he defeated the Persians and the world power shifted to Greece; Alexander dies and his generals divide his empire… two of importance where Ptolemy – who gained Egypt and the northern African countries, and Seleucus – who gained Syria, to the north of Palestine. Great conflicts abounded between the two generals and their warring empires… this too was prophesied in the book of Daniel chapter 11.a
There’s much more history and fulfilled prophecy that played part in creating a world that was disgruntled with their pagan gods and eastern mysticism, the politics of the day, and oppression. God waited until the time had come… His perfect timing… when He could send forth His son (Galatians 4:4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law.)
My take away was that God uses EVERYTHING to work out HIS purposes. God never causes evil, but certainly responds to evil with goodness and will leverage anything to further His kingdom. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
We must all remember that God is at work, here and now, in our lives. He knows and cares about the brokenness, sickness, injustice, addictions, and desperation in our lives. He has promised that if we seek Him first and are about His business, He will never forsake or leave us.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8
Just because we can’t see God’s hand at work with our eyes, our hearts must be reassured that God is very much at work, His spirit is very present, and He is working out good for those who love Him.
In His Grip,
a The 400 Years Between The Old and New Testaments by Ray C. Stedman, October 2, 1966. © 1995 Discovery Publishing, a ministry of Peninsula Bible Church.
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