After forty days, Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water dried up from the earth. (Genesis 8:6-7)
Some say there is no significance with ‘forty’ because we tend to try to find the meaning behind every number in the bible. But when it comes to the number forty, is there a pattern?
Lent is a total of forty days. Forty days for us to sacrifice. Forty days for us to repent our sins. Forty days to become closer to God and immerse ourselves in His word. Maybe God uses this literal forty, days, nights, years, to stress times of trouble and hardship. There are quite a few mentions of forty days in the bible here’s a quick look at some of them:
God destroyed the earth with rain for forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:12)
Moses fled into the desert for forty days (Acts 7:30)
Moses was on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights (Exodus 24:18)
Deuteronomy 25:3, the number of lashes a man can receive for a crime is forty
Deuteronomy 8:2-5 the Israelites wandered for forty years
Goliath taunted Saul’s army for forty days before David arrives (1 Samuel 17:16)
Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights (Matthew 4:2)
There are 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension (Acts 1:3)
Similar to lent, there are forty days after Jesus rose from the tomb and before he ascends into heaven. During this time, again, identical to Lent, was not easy for the Apostles. They lived in fear. They lived in sadness. They lived in doubt. Yet, Jesus presented himself over this period of forty days preaching about the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). So even in uncertain times, Jesus continues to spread the good news of God. He uses these forty days to teach and strengthen his Apostles with God’s word.
If we look at our lives right now, most of us are approaching or are past the forty-day stay-at-home ordinance due to this pandemic. Has it been difficult? Has it been a time of fear? Has it been a time of uncertainty? Does it continue to be a hardship, or are you making a shift to be like Jesus and use this time to get closer to God?
We are here for you. You are not alone. Let us know how we can pray for you today.