The Old Testament ends with two commands from the prophet Malachi. He tells God’s people to remember: Remember that God has done great things for you. Then he tells them to believe: Believe God’s not through doing great things for you.
Remember. Moses, manna, water gushing from a rock, the Law written down by the finger of God on a mountaintop. Remember.
Believe. Believe that no matter how much darkness comes your way God will not abandon you, forget you. He will rescue. Believe.
Then the prophet put down his pen and for the next 400 years the Israelites changed hands from empire to empire. Syrians. Persians. Greeks. Romans.
400 years. Some have called them the “darkest” in Jewish history.
Why? The Jews had known this kind of poverty, persecution and powerlessness before.
Why were these years the darkest?
Because God was the quietest.
For 400 years not a syllable was spoken by God to his suffering children. No prophets. No miracles.
Nothing but darkness.
And waiting, remembering, believing.
Then, one night, an angel appeared to shepherds watching their flocks. And light shone all around them. And Heaven sent a message to earth.
Before songs of joy there were cries of sorrow. Before peace on earth there was conflict. Before healing came hurt. Before the Light of the World there was darkness. Before the Word became flesh God was silent.
Wait. Remember all the great things God has done in your life. Believe that He’s not through doing them.
Wait. Your star will come.