“Four hundred years after the last Old Testament book was written, the story of the New Testament begins to unfold, around 6 BC.” Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. All rights reserved.
Because there has been found no written word from God at that time, it is often called “the four hundred silent years.” Four hundred years of not hearing God’s voice. Of not receiving direction for their lives. Of walking in their own light. Or were they?
I have often felt that I have not heard from God in what seemed like a hundred years. (Exaggeration, of course, but you get the message.) I pray and my prayers seem to stick to the ceiling like the flies on my home farm house. Staring at me darkly and mocking me because they aren’t going anywhere.
Or maybe I have continued, in my own light, to build a ministry, because I didn’t feel that God was speaking another direction to go in and I couldn’t understand why it was so difficult to get the resources, help, or interest.
Or making the decision to marry someone, because you didn’t hear God’s voice say, “No”.
If we look at the book of Daniel, we can see that God was far from silent about those four hundred years. He had already told the people what was coming, Who was coming, and when He would return. God had already outlined the rest of eternity. And we thought He was silent.
As I look at my life and the times when I thought God was silent, I realize that He has already said all He really needs to say. It is all written down for me in His Holy Bible. Every direction I need, every decision I make, is already addressed in these precious words.
I have learned that when I think God is silent, most of the time it is because I am so loud that I can’t hear Him. When I pray and my prayers stick to the ceiling, I can possibly find out that my prayers are not in line with God’s desires. These are times when I must make myself go to the Bible for direction, you know, His Voice in writing. And as I read, I listen for the Holy Spirit inside me to interpret.
God is never silent. He may be quietly speaking to us at one time for another, but He is never silent. “But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Habakkuk 2:20. The earth was silent for four hundred years, but God still spoke to his people. He is speaking to us today; let’s be silent and listen.