Tuesday, October 9, 2007


There’s this number that’s been floating around in my head for the last few weeks. The number is forty. Just in case you haven’t heard, by the time you read this I will be officially out of my 30s. I really thought I would try to do the Jack Benny thing and just stay 39 forever, but I think I have changed my mind about that. I think I may actually be ok with the age change.

While I am on the subject, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the surprise party Sunday night. You really did a great job of keeping the secret. The outpouring of love and generosity was overwhelming. Lynn, the kids, and I are so fortunate to be a part of this church family. We love all of you.

Anyway, let’s get back to my subject. I think my mother gave me the best piece of advice. While everyone else is ribbing me a bout being older, and “officially middle-aged”, my mother said that I would enjoy my forties more than any other age. She said “before forty, you still have no clue about life, and after you turn fifty, your body starts to fall apart, so go out there and enjoy the next decade!”

Not only do I believe her, but I think there is some Biblical truth to what she is saying. Just take a look at all the instances in the Bible where the number 40 shows up.

It rained for 40 days and 40 nights when God wanted to cleanse the world and start over. Genesis7:12

Noah waited another 40 days after it rained before he opened a window in the Ark. Genesis 8:6

Embalming required 40 days (although this was an Egyptian custom, the Egyptians recognized the period of 40 for the preparation of going into a new life, what they called the afterlife) Genesis 50:3

Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days (TWICE) Exodus 24:18.Exodus 34:28-29 .Deuteronomy 10:10

Moses' face shone after the 40 days on the mountain. Exodus 34:29.

It took the spies 40 days to search out the Promised Land and bring back fruit Numbers 13:25

The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness, one year for each day they explored the Promised Land. Exodus 16:35 Numbers 14:33-34

Goliath came for forty days before being killed by David 1 Samuel 17:16

Elijah, strengthened by one angelic meal went forty days to Mount Horeb where the Lord passed by and he heard the voice of God 1 Kings 19:8

Jonah warned the City of Nineveh they had 40 days until God would overthrow the city. The people repented in those 40 days and God spared the city. Jonah 3:4 and 10

Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness Matthew 3:17 and 4:1-2

Jesus was seen on the earth 40 days after His crucifixion Acts 1:3

When forty is mentioned, it occurs within the context of a trial, a lesson to be learned, or a major change. Is there a 40 in your life right now? Is God initiating a change in you that will affect your whole life? Maybe you’re going through a tough time and are wondering if there is hope. There is. God never lets troubles go unchecked. There is always hope in Christ.

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:5

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:1

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