It was anything but a silent night if you think about it. The silence happened during the 400 years before the “Silent Night” that we sing about each December—the time between the end of the book of Malachi and the birth of Jesus.
Not a word from God. Zilch.
Sure, God was working during this time – setting the stage for the fulfillment of His plan on Calvary. However, there is no record of prophecy or inspired communication during this time.
Four hundred years, approximately 18 generations, of silence. Those were the silent nights. Even during the times where it seemed God had forgotten, He was orchestrating things for good.
Can you imagine the conversations around the dinner table roundabout Generation #14? They must have thought their ancestors were sorely mistaken about the Messiah coming. Their hope must have dwindled. They had probably grown tired and weary living off of the hope of the previous generations.
So 400 years later and, literally, it is not a silent night.
A teenager gives birth without an epidural. Not silent.
Sharing a labor and delivery room with cows and donkeys. Not silent.
Arguing with a fiancé about the lodging options. Not silent.
Nine months pregnant while riding a donkey for 70 miles. Not silent.
Newborn baby. Not silent.
Spiritually, it was even louder, though!
Four hundred years of silence broken with the fulfilled promise of a Savior. Sometimes God breaks through in the most powerful way after a long period of silence. Generation #18 has an “a-ha moment.” Hope has been restored.
“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” —“O Holy Night”
We still live in a weary world.
We are weary.
When God seems silent, it is easy to lose the thrill of Hope. It seems this time of year oftentimes magnifies the awareness of the weary world in which we live. What can sustain us during times like these? Hope.
We must hide God’s word in our hearts so that when we feel the weight of the weary world, we can rejoice in what we know to be Truth. God is at work, even when we can’t see it. He has a plan that He is working out for His Glory.
We can have hope that God is not surprised by our circumstances. We can have hope that regardless of what we have been through, it will be redeemed in God’s perfect timing.
As long as we have hope, we can rejoice—even in the midst of the weary world.
Photo credit: sarah_browning