Day 9 – Holy Silence

 “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak  
until the day when these things take place,
because you did not believe my words
which shall be fulfilled in their proper time.”
Luke 1:20

400 years of silence,  
and God picks up right where He left off.

  • read the last words of the Old Testament, Malachi 4:5-6.

This is the moment when the silence is broken…

  • Read Luke 1:5-25.
  • How are Zacharias and Elizabeth described in verse 6?
  • What are “these things” refering to in verse 20?  (see verse13-17)
  • Who delivered this message to Zacharias?  (see verse 19)
  • Where does he deliver the message?  (see verses 8-10)

And, when silence of God ends, Zacharias’ begins.
For more than 9 months he was “unable to speak”.
I bet he did some “pondering” of his own.

  • read Luke 1:57-66
  • What loosed his tongue? (verse 63-64)

On my annual days of prayer, I try to go away or send my husband and children away the night before. Often I wake and do not speak for hours, and when I intentionally choose to speak, those first words feel sacred.

  • read Zacharias’ first words  (Luke 1:67-79)
  • If it seems a little deep, remember, this man has been pondering deep things for 9 months, the prophecies of old which are about to be fulfilled.

verse 78 in the NAS, “…because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us.”  – Sunrise, one of my favorite names for the Messiah! 

Gabriel, the messenger who broke the silence, was also the angel sent to Daniel.

  • read Daniel 9:20-22
  • What specifically is Gabriel’s sencond message about?  (see 9:25,26 – Don’t miss this!)

Gabriel tells Daniel about the future:  when the Messiah would come, His death, and the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem.  (If you missed that, read those last two verses again.)

If you are at all familiar with Daniel, you know that his influence in his day cannot be overstated.  But, it also seems probable that his legacy reached to the time of the Messiah, when magi, or “wise men”, a title used of the men in Daniel 2,5, and 6, put two and two together to figure out that the time for the fulfillment of the prophecy given to Daniel had come.  Keep in mind that Daniel was in what was know then as the far east, Babylon, in an area now known as Iraq.

  • read Matthew 2:1-2

“Wise men still seek Him” is as profound as it is clever.  Let’s be wise and make seeking God daily, weekly in Rest-Days, and even monthly or annual in special days of prayer, a priority!

PRAYER CHALLENGE:

Are you still marking your starting time when you pray?

Try it again today, but this time, in one blanket prayer say, “O Lord, you know” and set your TOP 12 aside.

Spread out a quilt, get down on the floor on your face, and be silent.  Say, “Lord, speak to me.”  Then be still and wait, and listen.

When you get up, write down what the Lord impresses upon your heart.  If you don’t have anything specific to write, or if 12 minutes seemed like too long of a time to be still, pen a prayer to the Lord asking Him to speak to you, and then try this challenge again later.

EVENING MEDITATION:

Word of God Speak – Mercy Me

Silent Night – Amy Grant