This week we have come to the end of Genesis, but it seems more like an intermission. Like the break between major acts in a play or musical. When we conclude this book of Beginnings, we have Jacob [Israel] having moved to Egypt and having lived there for some 17 years before his death. The dreams of Joseph have been true and acted out according to God’s plan. Joseph’s rise to high level in Egypt has enabled his to position his family – all 70 of them into a fertile land called Goshen; separated from the Egyptians and able to live out their culturally unique lifestyle. Joseph has saved his family, Egypt and surrounding nations from certain starvation. Now, we know that God the Father was at work to save Israel; but many were the benefactors because of His grace and mercy. The intermission as I call it will last some 460 years; just as Elohim had told Abraham in Genesis 15:13. This is quite a break from the story, but nevertheless now the last time God will have a great intermission. The time between the Testaments will be a 400 year silent period. I wonder what the purpose was for such a long period? There are times in our personal life where it seems that God may not be speaking. This times of “silence” can and are often very disturbing for us. We have an expectation that God should be speaking all the time. I have had many such times in my life, of which I was unnerved because they occurred. I had to learn that the silence doesn’t mean something is wrong or right, it is just a time of silence. The doubt comes to us when the “silence” happens that we have done something to offend our Lord. I have had to remind myself that with my earthly father, he didn’t always get up in the morning and tell me that I was his son. I already knew that I was his son, and really didn’t need daily affirmation. However, many believers struggle is God hasn’t somehow affirmed to them continually that they are “sons” of God. Why do we need these words of affirmation all the time? The flesh, human nature or lack of self-confidence? I am not really sure. I do know that we like to be reassured that everything is okay in our relationships – to the point that we want to hear it from people. Think of this, women like to hear the “I love you’s” from their husbands, and if they don’t it unsettles them. SO they ask “Do you love me?” Nothing has changed, but silence is troublesome for us.
I have to admit I wonder about those extended periods in the Bible where nothing was going on [well at least written about] and the people who lived during that time. We will find out in Exodus of the harsh living conditions the people had to endure. From a position of such favor, to one of jealousy and heavy burden. *****Note, I do understand that the time in-between the Testaments was very busy from a worldly standpoint – God was at work preparing the world for the right conditions that would maximize Jesus’ ministry – Galatians 4:4. I would suppose the same must be said about the time in Egypt. Times of ease are often times of apathy and falling away – such as life in USA. Israel had a good life while Joseph was in charge, they would not leave such a “great situation” on their own. In fact we find that even as hard and difficult it was to live in Egypt – the people constantly wanted to return to such a life. God was blessing and preparing Israel for the next significant chapter in His Plan. Good times are enjoyable, but difficult times are for growth. [James 1:2-5]
So if you find yourself in a silent period of your walk with the Lord, enjoy it and get prepared for the Lord is about to do something that you will need all your strength for. Isaiah 40:31 – key verse in learning how to wait on the Lord. Trouble is none of us like to wait!