The span between Malachi and Matthew lasted approximately four hundred years, often referred to by scholars as the “400 silent years” since there were no records of prophecies or angelic appearances.
Then, God spoke.
And when God broke the silence, he did so magnificently! It was time for Israel’s long-awaited Messiah to rise up for the salvation of his people.
The first messages from God during this history-making moment were angelic appearances to a handful of people, one of whom was a young lady named Mary.
Gabriel appeared to Mary and proclaimed, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28 NLT)
I love the two words the Bible uses to describe Mary’s initial reaction: confused and disturbed. She was frightened. By an angel.
We think of angels as cute little cherub figurine-worthy creatures with harps. Gabriel, however, is a battle-hardened heavenly messenger whose appearance would be quite intimidating to any feeble human being.
His message to her was one of comfort…
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:29-33 NLT)
Mary’s response is to be expected, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin,” to which Gabriel responded with an explanation…
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God… (Luke 1:35 NLT)
And then he utters these powerful words – read them slowly…
For the word of God will never fail. (Luke 1:37 NLT)
Mary responded with faith. Jesus came. The world will never, ever be the same.
Zero in on that message for a moment — “the word of God will never fail.”
This isn’t true of anything else in our entire world. Systems fail. Our health fails. Governments fail. Technology fails. People fail. I fail. You fail. Failure is an absolute fact of life!
But the word of God? It’s the one thing on this earth you can completely trust.
The point is, when God has spoken a promise or inspired a prophecy, you can be guaranteed, with 100% consistency, that God will indeed do the very thing he has promised.