The prophet Malachi wrote the last word of the Old Testament sometime around 430 B.C. Then came four centuries of silence. No prophets spoke, no predictions were proclaimed, no judgements were called down on the wicked, no blessings were promised to the faithful.
Most Bibles have a blank page between the Old and New Testaments. It’s there for a reason. Turn that page — and voila! — four hundred years have passed. A lot happened in the world during those forty decades. Empires rose and fell, wars were fought, discoveries were made.
But God didn’t speak.
It’s astounding that God’s people continued to watch and hope and pray for centuries. Somehow, each generation kept handing down the instruction: Wait. He will speak again.
Then He did.
His first word after all those long years was,
The priests weren’t prepared for a baby’s wail. They expected God to sound more like a thundering voice coming out of smoke and fire. So they missed it. If we’re not careful, we could miss it, too.
Lord, give us ears to hear Your voice this Advent,
in whatever way You choose to speak.