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A Poetic Pause


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

10 thoughts on “A Poetic Pause

  1. Beautiful piece of reflection. In thinking about His Gift to us, I’ve also been dwelling on anticipation and am reminded of this verse from Isaiah:
    “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”

    Just as little children excitedly anticipate the arrival of Christmas and opening of their presents, we can excitedly anticipate God’s showering of grace. I find in the moments that I look for Him, expecting to find Him, He reveals Himself powerfully. Love how you’ve shown Him growing this anticipation within humanity.


  2. Gene,
    I hope you have been keeping well( this is because I didn’t see many posts of yours recently). I never noticed that there were about 400 years between Malachi and Matthew- it is true- this was a time of hibernation for the Israelites- they could choose to hibernate and wait for their Saviour or choose to go another way. Just like in Egypt, the people were kept for about 400 years, waiting for their redemption from the Pharaoh. Similarly, I think now- each year X’mas reminds us that we are in the wait period- during this time, we can choose the path we need to go by.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Wendy. I love the way you put that “wrapped in humble coverings” requiring “faith” to unwrap them. You might just have yourself a future blog post there Wendy! Blessings to you and your family in 2016.

      Liked by 1 person

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