There is an interesting caesura found in the bible—a poetic pause that lies between the writing of the books of Malachi and Mathew. It served to redirect mankind’s focus from Old Testament Law to New Testament Grace.
Israel had grown accustomed to God’s miraculous interventions, but as the Old Testament drew to a close God seemed to have disappeared. Miracles stopped and no prophet would speak for the next 400 years. It was a bleak time for the Jewish people and many turned spiritually cold. Only a small remnant of Israel continued the vigil of watching for God’s promised redemption.
I think God purposely set this period to not only mark the conclusion of the Old Testament, but also create a sense anticipation and instability that begged for resolve. Over the next four centuries mankind was being poised to accept delivery of the most significant gift ever given: A promised Messiah. Resolve came in the form of a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger—The Savior Jesus Christ.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)
Join me this Christmas as we celebrate His incredible gift of love.
Photo credit: Wonderlane via Foter.com / CC BY