the art of silence

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

It’s been awhile since my last post. Almost two months to be exact.

Writing is one of my favorite hobbies. So, why did I stop? I didn’t. Just because my blog was silent doesn’t mean I was.


I’ll explain.

Throughout the past three years, I’ve been chipping away at my first book.

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At 26-years-old, I haven’t lived long enough or attained the amount of experience required to be an expert in any subject but myself. So, in my attempt to write a book, I have but one option: a memoir.


God has blessed me with some incredible experiences all across the globe. I’ve seen things I never thought I would see, I’ve done things I never expected to do, and I’ve made memories I’ll cherish forever.


In recounting these life experiences as verbal stories, I realized the effect these stories had on people.


During the same time I have been writing these stories down, I have also been reading and studying Biblical scripture. The more I read scripture, the more obvious Biblical parallels became apparent with my own experiences.


I came to the conclusion that our stories are not our own, but rather modern day connections to an eternal, Biblical storyline. I began to see how my story fit in with God’s story--History.

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With the manuscript nearing completion, I decided to redirect my focus away from the blog toward the book. Like I said in the beginning of this post, just because my blog has been silent doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing.


The same is true for God. Just because it feels like He is being silent, doesn’t mean He is being still.


Have you ever heard of the time period known as “ the silent years?”


“The silent years” are the intertestamental period between the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) and the first book of the New Testament (Matthew). Our best estimate for the silent years is between ~430 BC-0 AD.


What was happening during the silent years? We’ll get there, but first, we have to understand what happened leading up to the silent years.


Around ~950 BC, King Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, triggered a civil war in Israel. War caused the nation to be split into two separate kingdoms; the Kingdom of Israel (10 tribes) to the north, and the Kingdom of Judah (2 tribes) to the south.


In 722 BC, the Assyrian empire invaded and captured the Kingdom of Israel, and in 586 BC, less than two hundred years later, the Babylonian empire invaded and captured the Kingdom of Judah.


The Jews were painfully exiled and scattered throughout the entire Mediterranean region.


During this time of exile, God spoke through 17 Old Testament prophets in an attempt to get the Hebrews--and surrounding countries--to turn from their wicked ways and follow after the Lord. Each of the 17 Biblical prophets lived between ~760 BC - ~430 BC.


After the final prophet, Malachi, God decides to call an audible. He quit sending prophets, and the Israelites didn’t hear from God for the next four hundred years. Thus, the silent years.


What’s so fascinating about these years of silence is how integral they became to the overall narrative God was writing.


Leading up to the first century AD, there were five great ancient empires: Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome.


While none of these empires followed or feared the God of Israel, YHWH, God used each one of them to accomplish his purposes during this period.


These five empires, Greece and Rome especially, gave the world technology such as road systems, mail systems, a common written and spoken language, educational prowess, and trade routes.

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Why is this important?


Because each of these technological advances were essential to the success of the Gospel of Jesus.


How did the apostles get this message of hope to the world? They travelled on roads, sent letters by mail, and wrote and spoke in a universal language to relatively educated people. The apostles could only take the message so far on their own, so trade route travelers took stories of Jesus farther than the apostles ever could.


Incredible!


Want to know what’s even more incredible? God was not only using these empires to set the stage for His Son’s story to be shared, but God was also using the painful circumstances of the Jewish exile as well.


When people are forced to leave their home, they yearn to return. When they can’t return, they typically look for a tie back to the homeland they love and miss.


In modern times, a tie back could be starting a restaurant or finding a group of compatriots from the same hometown in the new city where they now live.


In the Ancient Middle East, the greatest tie back was to build Jewish synagogues in their new towns and countries.


Why is this important?


Because where was the first place Apostles shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ in each new city? You guessed it! Synagogues.


God used the great exile also known as the “Diaspora” to ensure a Jewish presence in places it had never been before and to give the Apostles a stage to share Jesus’s story.

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Amazing!


If you’re not a history buff like me, this might not be your favorite article; however, there is a moral to the story.


Just because I haven’t posted a blog in the past two months doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing.

Just because God wasn’t speaking to His people during the silent years doesn’t mean He wasn’t moving.

I’ve been writing more than I ever have during the last two months.

God was moving more than He ever had during the silent years.


Don’t mistake silence for stillness. Silence has the potential to change the entire world.


Just ask Jesus.


Abundantly,


hamilton


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