During most of the decade of the ’80’s we lived and preached in Lexington, AL., a small town in northwest Alabama just below the Tennessee state line. When we moved there we soon heard of a church member, Mr. Beavers (already deceased), whose “gift for gab” was legendary. It was about a 40 minute ride from Lexington to Florence. A company van provided transportation so he and other area workers rode back and forth every day.
It was said that when Mr. Beavers got in the van he started talking. And he talked all the way to work. Then nine hours later at the end of the workday when they loaded up to return home, he start talking again–without fail taking up at the very point he left off that morning! I always thought that was amazing. If my train of thought is interrupted I might have to ask, “Now what was I saying?” But Mr. Beavers could remember consistently, with the passing of nine hours.
But then I think of God’s redemptive plan, which in His eternal wisdom he formulated before the foundation of the earth. He began to reveal that plan in Gen. 3:15, with the first promise of Christ, when sin first entered the world. Little by little through the Old Testament there is the unfolding of God’s plan. Then we come to the book of Malachi, the final prophet in our Old Testament. Malachi prophesied ca. 432 BC. There would be more than 400 years of biblical silence, that is, where there would be no more revelation from God, until that silence is broken as the Gospel records report. But God never forgot His plan. Note the connection between Malachi and Luke (Luke goes back the farthest in his record re: the birth of John), when the angel Gabriel told the aged priest Zacharias that he and his barren wife Elizabeth were to have a son:
The Old Testament concluded with a prophecy of John’s birth, figuratively referenced here as Elijah the prophet. He would be the forerunner to prepare the people for Jesus’ coming. But although 400+ passed after Malachi’s prophecy, when God renewed revelation, He took up right where He left off, thus continuing the unfolding of His plan to bring Christ into the world. Amazing!