Okay, Quiet Time is not really a found used in the bible, but there are darn few Q-words in the good book for ABC Wednesday. Technically, Quiet Time is called the Inter-Testament Period. It’s the (give or take) 400 years between the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) and the first book of the New Testament (Matthew). It’s the time when God looks like he’s having a little Quiet Time, with not a prophet anywhere to be found. God is uncharacteristically silent.
The last century of the Old Testament took place under Persian rule. Relatively calm years where the Israelites don’t make anyone mad enough to want to completely annihilate them. But, this is just the calm before the storm. This quiet period was really anything but quiet.
During these silent years, Alexander the Great thinks it’s a grand idea to turn everyone into a Greek. Every land he conquers, Greek everything is the order of the day. For the most part, he leaves the Israelites alone to practice their faith, but he strongly *encourages* them to adopt the worldly and humanistic Greek lifestyle. Alex also translates the Hebrew bible into Greek for some extra reading material.
And God is quiet.
Around 203BC, Antiochus, overthrows the Jewish priesthood. He fills the temple with *unclean* animals, does a little renovation and installs a pagan altar. The Jewish Resistance rescues the temple and reinstates their priests. But after that little squabble, vicious violence, war and infighting become a way of life.
And God is quiet.
Closing in on the millennium, Pompey conquers and taxes everything he can get his hands for Rome. It is a time of great multiculturalism with Roman, Greek and Jewish cultures all meshing their traditions together. The Jewish people continue their in-fighting and the Pharisees and Sadducees social cliques arise. The Israelites are once again a conquered people, and their heritage threatened by cross-culturalism. Political and religious fanatics are rampant. Hopelessness is everywhere. And Herod the Great mocks the Jewish hopes and dreams of a savior.
And God is still quiet.
What’s up with that? Aren’t the Israelites suppose to be God’s chosen people? In the past when things got really bad, they could always count on some wild-eyed, fire-breathing prophet to come and set them straight. But now…nothing, nada, zip. But was God really no where to be found? After all, Daniel 11 is all about what’s going to happen in the future. Silent? Perhaps. Inactive? Not so much.
Like the Israelites, we all experience times when God seems to be taking a little Quiet Time for himself. Times when we think he should be paying attention to us instead of doing whatever he’s doing. You know them, the times when He’s silent to our incessant, frantic prayers and it seems like we’re being ignored. Times when “we really could use a little guidance here, thank you very much”….but nothing, nada, zip. It’s quiet. It’s silent. And we just don’t know where we stand or what to do.
But like the Inter-Testament Period, God’s silence doesn’t mean he’s sittin’ around doing nothing. He’s always actively working behind the scenes in our life. All we need to do is be still and trust…even when it’s hard to do so. Everything we need to know about answering prayers has already been told to us through the Old and New Testaments. He really doesn’t need to have a one-on-one conversation with us. He’s already answered our questions.
Be still, and know that I am God. ~Psalm 46:10
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28
Remember, the last time God broke His extended silence, Gabriel was sent to a young woman named Mary.
Inactive? I think not.
Is God being too quiet in your life?
How do you react during God’s Quiet Time?
Do you trust that all things work for your ultimate good?
Submitted for ABC Wednesday