As if Someone was slowly turning down the volume, the Old Testament moves from the giants of the Old Testament to the major prophets, and now to the “minor prophets.” The names are more obscure to us: Obadiah, Nahum, Joel, Habakkuk. The books are shorter. Contained in these minor books are hidden gems that remind us that, though quieter, God is still passionately in love with His people. “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17) “Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you, declares the Lord. (Zech. 2:10) Even in judgment, God’s heart is poured out in love. “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel?… My heart is changed within Me; all my compassion is aroused.” (Hosea 11:8).  Like the orchestra winding down from full warm up to a few final quiet last notes, silence enters before the symphony begins. Over 400 years of silence passed with no Word from the Lord. The silence was long, and the people waited. The silence continued and continued. Suddenly, when hope had all but faded, like the first grand notes of a magnificent symphony, with a mighty blast, angels singing, Christ was born. The Old Testament exploded into the New Testament. The fullness of time arrived as a small baby. Emmanuel! God with us!

We have a hard time waiting ten minutes, but the Hebrew people waited for over 400 years – hard waiting, oppressive waiting. Even when the waiting for us seems too hard and too long, we learn in silence and we grow in silence. Silence does not mean absence, nor does it mean indifference. Sometimes, the most important work is done in silence. Our waiting often precedes God’s best.

In our season of plenty, God is Redeemer. In our season of suffering, God is Redeemer. In our season of waiting and silence, God is still Redeemer. Wait and see the salvation of the Lord.

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