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For centuries, God promised the people of Israel he would use them in a mighty way. They would have a land of their own. They would be a nation of influence. They would be a blessing to the entire world. And, maybe most importantly, they would produce a king… a king sent from God… someone who would rule on their behalf forever. God made these promises through people like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Micah spoke of a coming day when this King would arrive and deliver on these promises God had made.

But for years and years, those promises seemed empty. Toward the end of the Old Testament, Israel found herself as a divided nation with no real sense of identity. And instead of living in their homeland together, many Israelites were scattered around the region after being exiled by conquering nations. The future was not looking too bright.

And even more difficult, for the next 400 years (which is the amount of time between the Old and New Testaments), God would remain silent. That’s around 15 generations where there were no words from prophets, no supernatural interactions, no reminders of his promises. God’s people were left in a broken state… limping along with a lot of their people still living in foreign lands. But ALL of them, regardless of where they lived, were under the authority of the Roman Empire.

They were certainly a far cry from the people group that was supposed to have its own land, its own identity, and to be this huge blessing to the rest of the world.

They were left to wonder… Is this it? We thought God had promised to use us to one day restore everything… in a sense, to make things right, to bless the world. But all they had were WHISPERS of a coming king one day. In all the watching, all the waiting… no ear had heard and no eye had seen any hints of this new ruler.

After four centuries without any clear direction from God, the people of Israel had to ask themselves… Do we have any reason to hope?

Through years and years of silent nights

The stars broke forth in brilliant light

So… while God may have seemed silent, he was never still. He would use the nation of Israel to pave the way for perhaps the most climactic part of God’s story for humanity… where he would begin restoring a broken relationship with his creation. And this coming king would not just be for Israel, he would be for ALL people!

The promised Messiah had indeed come. Jesus is here.


Heavenly Father, help me remember that though it can seem like you’re silent, you’re never still. You’re always at work.

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For centuries, God promised the people of Israel he would use them in a mighty way. They would have a…