Adam and Eve must have passed on stories to their children of walking with God in the garden. Personal conversations. The kind you have with intimate relationships. Beautiful. Meanginful. Deep.
God actually walked and talked with His creation. That is, before everything went wrong because of sin.
But that’s also the moment the Rescue Plan was set into motion. The moment the spark hit the powder trail. Not the moment it was conceived, mind you. It’s not like our need for a Savior was an afterthought to a desperate situation that came as a surprise.
No. God– all Three parts of the fullness of Himself– already knew and planned the Rescue before they ever spoke into existence the foundation of the earth. Before God’s Eternal voice broke the silence of nothingness. Before the first explosion of “Let there be light.” Before the first affirmation “And God saw that it was good.” Before the temporal and the eternal collided on the same timeline… they had a Rescue Plan already in place (see here).
Jesus knew it all. He helped plan it all.
While the Rescue Plan was being put into motion, there would be evidence of what making ourselves our own gods would do to us. The pain. The brokenness. The despair. The darkness. The futileness. The destruction. The evil.
And in the midst of it all, God chose a people through whom He would do His greatest work. He would reveal Himself to them, lead them, guide them. He would speak to them through signs and wonders and prophets and clouds and fires and burning bushes and manna from the sky and water in the dessert and dead brought back to life and…
Yeah, there’s a big, HUGE list.
For hundreds of years, God’s presence was known by His people. The only time they were without it was as a consequence of their sin. God would remove His presence from among them to give them what their rebellion wanted: life as their own gods. Their own choices. Playing by their own rules. And every time they hit rock bottom, where our sin always takes us, they would call out to Him and He would restore them into a right relationship with Him.
In the midst of all the harshness and reality of the consequences of sin recorded in the Old Testament, those stories are also full of God’s mercy and love, wooing His people and running after them. A love that never gives up. A faithful God to an unfaithful people.
Four hundreds years of silence. Four hundred years! Not just a single generation or two, where parents or grandparents could say, “I remember when God still spoke…” There came a time when no one living had ever heard God speak. Not through His prophets. Or out of a bush. Or through an angel.
The God who had spoken the Universe into existence, and gathered a people to Himself, and taught them to follow Him, and wooed them and fought for them and rescued them time and time again, was silent.
Hundreds of years of relationship and evidence of God’s presence working intimately and personally in their lives, and they were suddenly in deafening silence. Why?
I don’t know. Maybe He was working on something that “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Maybe in the silence He was laying the most important pieces of their plan.
Maybe His silence was the the very thing that would make His people desperate to hear from Him. Maybe it had a purpose…
If you are in a silent season with God, know this: He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. As a redeemed and adopted child of the Most High God, we have a seal of ownership set over us, the Holy Spirit of God, and He is a deposit of God Himself guaranteeing what is to come (see here). So, if He is silent right now, or has been for what seems four hundred years, we have His Word, we have His Spirit, we have His promises.
Hold on, your Rescuer is coming for you!
And remember: God’s longest time of silence brought at the end of it His greatest gift to the world.
Come, thou long expected Jesus…