For years I read the Bible just like it’s a regular book.  Now with more spiritual maturity I’ve learned that it reveals far more about what’s really important to know than I ever realized from casual reading.  It’s insufficient to simply read the Bible–one must study it, too!  The irony is that doing so causes one to come up with more questions, and finding the answers increases our desire to learn even more.  Here’s just one recent example.

Out of nowhere a thought entered my mind:  what’s so special to God about the number 40?  What caused me to think this?  I suggest that it resulted from the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  

Think about all the times the number 40 pops up in the Bible.  Here are just a few instances:

–it rained for 40 days and 40 nights to flood the earth;

–after the ark floated for 40 days, Noah sent out a raven to find dry land;

–The exiled Jews from Egypt wandered in the desert for 40 years;

–Jewish spies spent 40 days doing reconnaissance in the promised land;

–Builders of the Tower of Babel worked 40 days before being stopped;

–Jonah informed Nineveh of its destruction in 40 days;

–Jesus fasted for 40 days after being baptized;

–Jesus remained 40 days on earth following His crucifixion until His ascension;

–Israel experienced 40 years of peace;

–Israel was restored from destruction after 40 years.

Here’s the common thread.  Every 40 days or years produced a time of testing, probation or trial.  After each one, God provided a blessing.  

The question we have to ask ourselves is how we can relate these Biblical realizations to our own lives.  For myself a good example is that my cancer treatments plus an equipment failure of one day lasted 40 days.  I went from lousy health to a condition of being restored–a time of trial followed by an incredible blessing.  

Does 40 play a role in any of your life experiences in a similar way?  I bet it does if you can simply recall it.  

I challenge you to search out the not-so-obvious teachings in the Bible.  The Holy Spirit will start opening your eyes to seeing much more than you ever realized.  

Last Modified on February 18, 2019
This entry was posted in Daily Devotional
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