This past Sunday, October 28th, we began our study on John the Baptist. As an introduction, we briefly discussed all eight Old Testament characters we have studied thus far. All have led us to studying the various strict laws given to Moses and presented to God’s chosen people. In fact, the entire Old Testament shows us that these Laws demand perfection for God, the Father, to accept us. Further, as we have seen time after time, no one can keep these laws.
At the close of the Old Testament, we find three minor prophet, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. All three of these prophets urged Israeli to repent of their sins and rebuilt the temple. Zerubbabel received a signet and led the people to finally rebuilding the temple in 516 B.C. The Israelites thought that since they repented and rebuilt the temple, that the Messiah would come during this period. However, their repentance was luke-warm.
Not only did they did not see the Messiah, but God chose to keep silent for four hundred years, the intertestamental period. No prophets, no Word, no angels, zip, nada; total silence.
Like the Book of Acts bridging the Gospels to the Epistles, this period of silence bridges the Old Testament to the New Testament. As we continue our studies we find many changes took place during these years. Luke, after a brief narrative takes us to the Birth of John the Baptist Foretold. This coming Sunday we move forward in our study of John. He is a very unlikely hero of the Bible. However, he, like the other characters we studied, God chose John for His purpose and to glorify His name.