40

26 09 2012

I turned 40 last week, and I have been reflecting on that number a lot lately.  First, I came up with a list of 40 Things  I want to accomplish in my next 40 years.  Today, I am reminded of the biblical significance of the number 40.

  • The rains poured down for 40 days in the days of Noah.
  • Moses lived in Egypt his first 40 years, in Midian his second 40 years, and wandered with the Israelites in the desert for 40 more years.
  • Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai receiving the first set of laws as well as 40 more days receiving the second set after the sin of the Golden Calf.
  • The Israelite spies were sent out for 40 days.
  • Jonah spent 40 days prophesying in Nineveh.
  • Ezekiel laid on his right side for 40 days to symbolize the 40 years of Judah’s transgression.
  • King David and King Solomon, among others, ruled Israel for 40 years.
  • Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness as he was tempted by the Deceiver.
  • For 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to his followers.

40 most often symbolizes a period of trials and testing followed by a period of refreshment, deliverance, prosperity, or rest.   Taking each of those items listed above,

  • Noah saw God’s promise to mankind in the form of a rainbow.
  • Moses saw the Promised Land before he died.
  • Israel settled in the land flowing with milk and honey.
  • Nineveh repented and was saved.
  • Israel grew and prospered under the rule of King David and King Solomon.
  • Jesus was refreshed by angles attending him after confronting Satan.
  • The Holy Spirit was given to followers of Christ.

I have certainly had some trials and experienced periods of great testing in my first 40 years of life.  But I really like the idea that my next 40 could be . . . should be . . . filled with goodness.  I am truly excited to experience what God has in store for the next half of my life.

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6 responses

26 09 2012
anawefullybigadventure

I didn’t realize how many passages in the Bible allude to the significance of 40. It seems the Bible sheds light on the importance of a lot of different numbers. Makes me think how numbers influence so much that happens to us.

30 09 2012
jezioroj

Numbers are the key to explaining the universe.

30 09 2012
ashleyconsumedbywanderlust

This is a really neat idea. I’ve never thought of anything like that. I’ve never looked in depth at how many times 40 is mentioned in the bible. The classic 40 reference is the 40 days and 40 nights but I like how you showed the other ones as well. It’s neat to see how numbers can relate to us.

3 10 2012
Jean

Wait until you get to 50. You will have the thrill of claiming that you are half a century old (which I am….@53.) Best wishes!

7 10 2012
burruss

That’s really interesting to see how the numbers connect us with the bible

7 10 2012
waylandms

I had no idea the number 40 was so significant! Love this!

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