- Always Winter
- No comments
The Christmas Story is an amazing story we have all heard many times, but it doesn’t begin in the manger or the Inn, or even with Mary and Joseph. 700 years before the Birth of Christ, Isaiah wrote these words about Jesus in Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder,and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The fact is, the story of Christmas began even before the world began. When that little baby boy was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, the world had been waiting a long time for Him. All of Creation led up to this moment where God’s Word became flesh and Dwelled among us.
Galatians 4:4 says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman.”
“Your salvation is inextricably interwoven with the virgin birth. No virgin birth, no deity. No deity, no sinless life. No sinless life, no sacrificial death. No sacrificial death, no salvation. No salvation, you’re going to hell. Jesus came to earth that we might go to Heaven; born of a virgin that we might be born again. Thank God for the virgin birth.” – Adrian Rogers
Since all the way back in Genesis 3, the people had been waiting for a Savior. For thousands of years and hundreds of prophecies, they waited for this messiah to come. One of the most difficult times of waiting would have been in the 400 years between the End of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. The Intertestamental period. God was silent during this time. He provided no prophet, no prophecy.
Generations came and went hoping and waiting for a Savior. This must have been a bleak time in history. Have you ever been in that place before, waiting? Waiting for God to do something, but He seems like He is silent. Things are bleak, sorrow is real, when will God move? Waiting and waiting. But we learn from the Christmas Story that we can trust God’s timing.
God didn’t forget the plan for 400 years, then all of a sudden remember He was supposed to send Jesus. He had prepared for this moment, the perfect moment. Maybe you’re living between the last chapter of Malachi and the first chapter of Matthew and you’re worried that God’s silence on some issues will never be broken. When will He move? When will He step in? When will He break the silence? You’re waiting for answers to real questions! But God’s timing is always perfect.
Luke 2 shows evidence that God planned the perfect time to send His son. Luke 2:1-3 says, “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town.”
Kyle Idleman has an awesome series on RightNow Media called “The Christmas Experience” and he says this “During those 400 years of silence God was moving, during that time Alexander the Great conquered all the known world in just 12 years around 350 years before Christ.” As a result of this, the world basically became Greek in both thought and language. For the first time since the tower of Babel the world was united by one language, everyone spoke a little Greek.
God was making a way for Jesus to be born into a world where everyone spoke the same language. Messages could be passed quickly. The Other reason this was important was the Greeks translated the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek about 280 years before Christ. Everyone had access to the Bible. The other thing that was special about this time was the Greeks’ influence on learning and Philosophy. The Greeks were known for the Socratic method of learning, by asking questions, just like Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates. People are beginning to think for themselves and ask questions. Then just 63 years before Jesus’s birth the Romans took overruling the world from the Greeks. See over the last several hundred years the Romans had been making a contribution as well, during this silent time the Romans were building one of the most massive road systems the world had ever seen. These were the roads that Jesus, the Disciples, and Paul would use to quickly travel the world telling the Gospel. The Romans were brutal to the people of Israel, because of this persecution the Jews fled into every part of the Roman Empire. If it were not for this fact Christianity would have struggled to make it out of Israel. 27 years before Christ’s birth there came a peace over the world for almost 200 years. It’s now known as the Pax Romana. To this day it is known as the most peaceful time in history. The time was right, although God was silent, He was busy.
He was preparing the way. The World could speak one language, they had access to the scripture, they learned to ask questions, they had means to travel, and they had peace. This first Christmas is evidence for us to trust God’s timing. An old preacher once said, “God is rarely early, but never late.” God is not rushed, but He is perfect. Perfection takes time. So when you are in those periods of silence where you feel like you have been waiting forever, remember that just like God had a plan and perfect timing for the Messiah to come, and He has a plan and perfect timing for your life. Have faith in the God that makes no mistakes. Christmas is the time when we celebrate the coming of the Messiah. The Answer to the silence. The Messiah is coming to answer your silence as well. Christmas is coming!
I don’t know what you’re waiting for right now. It could be waiting for healing of a family member or relationship. It could be waiting for a storm to pass from your life. It could be waiting for answers on what is the next step for you in life. Just know that although God may be silent, He is busy. His timing is perfect. He is seldom early, but He is never late.