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SILENT TREATMENT

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How many of you have ever been given the silent treatment before?

Maybe you have prayed and nothing.
Maybe He is answering everyone else it seems but you...
Maybe someone you love was hurt or sick, and you would love to know why God allowed it to happen, but all you seem to get back from Him is silence.
Maybe someone you love was hurt or sick, and you would love to know why God allowed it to happen, but all you seem to get back from Him is silence.
TELL A PERSONAL STORY
Tell a personal story that illustrates the following ideas...
Talk about a time when you felt a prayer hadn’t been answered or that God was silent.
Build the tension and don’t resolve it. Keep it short. You’ll come back to your story later to give
it a conclusion.
If you have ever felt that way about God, I’ve got some great news. You are not alone.

Sometimes it feels like we are getting the silent treatment from our Heavenly Father, doesn’t it?

For most of us, this time of year—Christmas—generally brings happy things to mind. Family, presents, peace, candy, vacation from school...good stuff. But the first Christmas was nothing like that at all. There was no anticipation of hope or happiness or joy or presents like we have today. Actually, at this time a couple of thousand years ago, a lot people felt like God had completely let them down.

After the last writer finished writing Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, God went silent.

In fact, 400 years after His last message to His people, God still hadn’t said a thing.

Matthew 1:1–17 NLT
1 This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham: 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (whose mother was Tamar). Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Ram. 4 Ram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. 5 Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab). Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth). Obed was the father of Jesse. 6 Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). 7 Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam was the father of Abijah. Abijah was the father of Asa. 8 Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was the father of Jehoram. Jehoram was the father of Uzziah. 9 Uzziah was the father of Jotham. Jotham was the father of Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh. Manasseh was the father of Amon. Amon was the father of Josiah. 11 Josiah was the father of Jehoiachin and his brothers (born at the time of the exile to Babylon). 12 After the Babylonian exile: Jehoiachin was the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel was the father of Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud. Abiud was the father of Eliakim. Eliakim was the father of Azor. 14 Azor was the father of Zadok. Zadok was the father of Akim. Akim was the father of Eliud. 15 Eliud was the father of Eleazar. Eleazar was the father of Matthan. Matthan was the father of Jacob. 16 Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah. 17 All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah.
Matthew 1:1–17 CSB
An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers, Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Aram, Aram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered King David. David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife, Solomon fathered Rehoboam, Rehoboam fathered Abijah, Abijah fathered Asa, Asa fathered Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat fathered Joram, Joram fathered Uzziah, Uzziah fathered Jotham, Jotham fathered Ahaz, Ahaz fathered Hezekiah, Hezekiah fathered Manasseh, Manasseh fathered Amon, Amon fathered Josiah, and Josiah fathered Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. After the exile to Babylon Jeconiah fathered Shealtiel, Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel fathered Abiud, Abiud fathered Eliakim, Eliakim fathered Azor, Azor fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Achim, Achim fathered Eliud, Eliud fathered Eleazar, Eleazar fathered Matthan, Matthan fathered Jacob, and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations; and from David until the exile to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the exile to Babylon until the Christ, fourteen generations.

This list of names reflects their story of God speaking to them over years and years and years.

We might read this list and think, “Who are all these people?” But the Jews would have read this list and recognized each and every one.
Matt
Matthew 1:16 NLT
16 Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
Joseph? Mary? Jesus? The Messiah? (Messiah, by the way, means savior.)
This time, through Jesus. The Messiah. He’s here to save the whole world.”
Whoa. You thought you were reading a boring list of names? Nope! Big news. Big unexpected news.

God isn’t silent. God is doing something brand new in the world and His name is Jesus.

Even when it seemed like He was absent, God was there.

Here’s what I love most about this history lesson from Matthew. What looks like just a boring list of names is actually evidence that, even when it seemed like God was silent for 400 years, God was still working.

God has never been far from us! He has been with us the whole time.

Galatians 4:4 NLT
4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.

God had a plan all along

I love that! “But when the time had fully come.” It means God had a plan all along, and God was working—even during the years we thought He was silent.
we’ve all wondered at some point if God is really with us, haven’t we?

What if you believed that, even if God seemed silent, He was really working?

WRAP UP YOUR PERSONAL STORY
Complete your story by illustrating the following ideas...
Share how God eventually came through for you and an- swered your prayer.
Or, if God never clearly answered your prayer, empha- size how God revealed that He was still with you in the midst of it.

It’s about God sending His Son into the world after so many years of silence.

Because that’s what Christmas is all about: the unexpected news that God is with you. Always.

How does knowing that God is with you help you when you feel like He is silent?

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