The silent years that bridged the gap between Old and New Testaments must have been excruciatingly difficult. Those who’ve long waited for the Messiah might have already asked, “will He still come to save us?”… That I can only guess. Yet as we open the Gospels, we are reminded that what seemed silent to man was not at all silent in God’s perspective. Above all, He did not forget His promises. God worked throughout world history. Believe it or not, I believe the Roman roads and the Greeks’ affinity towards education were part of His master plan. His sovereignty was displayed in the midst of the “400 years of silence”.
Then after centuries of waiting, the seemingly deafening silence was broken by the voice of one crying in the wilderness (cf. Mark 1:2-3). His name was John the Baptist – a man known for his unusual appearance, eating habits, and boldness! This caught the attention of the religious people, so they inquired, “Are you Elijah? Are you the Prophet? Who are you?” Then he humbly replied, “I am not… I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said. I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie”.
God’s purpose for John was clear. He humbly came to usher in the entrance of Jesus Christ, the Savior of this broken world. John both had a proper view of his calling and a high view of the King he wholeheartedly served. He placed his trust on the promise-keeping God, while the vast majority might have been losing faith. He chose to point to the light while darkness seemed to have covered the earth. Insignificant as John may seem, I find myself deeply grateful while reflecting on what Scripture says about him. Through him, a bright ray of hope was ignited through the testimony of this man who served as the Messiah’s forerunner, which the Old Testament has foretold.
Because of John the Baptist, I am convinced that nothing could ever silence the Living Word (cf. John 1:1-5). God is real, and God is faithful. In Him, we can always have hope.