The Israelites spent 400 years in silence between Malachi’s last word and Matthew’s first. Four centuries passed without a message from God to the Israelites. Without a prophet to herald the good news.
146,000 days of silence.
Over 3.5 million hours without a word.
Two hundred million plus moments.
Generation upon generation waiting…
I can’t quite wrap my heart around God’s people waiting 400 years.
Advent is the season of waiting. And if I’m honest I am not good at it. I get impatient, moody, frustrated. Which often brings me to cry out like the Psalmist:
How long O God? HOW LONG?
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash
There’s a prophet named Anna who lived during the time Jesus was born. The story goes that she was married for a short time and spent 80 years of her life in the temple where she worshipped, fasted, and prayed. When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple Luke described her response.
And coming up at the very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.Luke 2:38 ESV
All that time waiting… from Malachi to Gabriel’s good news to Mary. And Anna spent 84 years for this moment. How did she do it? How did she keep her faith, believe year after year, encourage others to wait without losing hope. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to ask her? to study and observe how she waited?
Yet deep down I already know. She prayed, fasted, worshipped — no matter what — because she believed in a God who speaks. She believed the day was coming when God would show up.
I believe it too. I believe God speaks. I believe God shows up. I believe there is purpose in the waiting. Like Anna I worship and pray, looking forward with anticipation to Jesus coming. That’s what Advent is all about. Hopefully waiting to celebrate Jesus’s birth while we await our Savior’s final return.
Until that day I’ll keep singing, “My soul, my soul, magnifies the Lord, my soul.”
Set aside time to sit with the Savior in the waiting of Advent. The Daily Grace Study Hope Has Come has arrived in the shop for your personal study. Our Wednesday Bible study for Advent, A Light Shines in the Darkness, begins soon. Not to mention several other resources to encourage you as you wait.
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