Toward the goal of filling the world with the glory of God and fulfilling the promise to Abraham of a great nation through which all the nations of the world will be blessed, there came what is called 400 years of silence. This was the time between the last of the Old Testament prophets and the arrival of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus. The remnant of Jews rebuilt Jerusalem under the rule of the Medes and Persians. After them, Judah became known as Judea and was under the rule of the Greeks and then the Romans. From Abram to the 12 tribes of Israel, to a great nation under Solomon, down to a small remnant of one tribe, there comes the birth of one boy descended from Abraham of the tribe of Judah, of the house of David, who was also the Son of God through whom all the nations of the world would be blessed, Jesus the Christ. But this is not the end goal. And what was God doing during those silent years to advance His purposes? Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Gospel of salvation was established by Christ’s blood. With the giving of the Great Commission to take the Gospel to every creature the scope had been broadened to the entire world. With the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Church, the spiritual nation that could go into nation, had been established and equipped. But where did church come from in God’s promise to Abraham?
Some say that the church was God’s “plan B”. When Israel failed by her many departures from God culminating in their rejection of Jesus as their Messiah, it is argued that God ended His covenant with them and gave it all to the church. But I believe Church was in God’s plan all the time. He is much too wise to have to resort to a “plan B” on His trek toward His glory filling the earth and all nations coming to Israel as promised. And what God was doing through the silent 400 years had great impact on the success of the Church carrying the Gospel to the world…..To be continued. -- Ben