27 Mar

Greetings to today’s readers! This is not about being of a certain age, but about the power and symbolism of that number. Lessons can be learned by evaluating the number.


Biblically this is a significant number. Biblical scholars tell us the number 40 is mentioned over 100 times throughout the readings.

Consider these images:

During Moses’ life, he lived forty years in Egypt and forty years in the desert before God selected him to lead his people out of slavery.

Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights, on two separate occasions receiving God’s laws.

The prophet Elijah went 40 days without food or water at Mount Horeb.

Jesus was tempted by the devil many times during the 40 complete days he fasted just before his ministry began.

It is believed Jesus appeared to his disciples and others for 40 days after his resurrection.

And Noah’s sailing journey extended for 40 days.

There are other considerations of the power of 40:

Lenten observance covers 40 days.

There are spiritual book titles that implement the use of 40:

40 Days with God by Ken Hickey

40 Days with Jesus by Chad Hollingsworth

40 Days in the Word by Rick Warren

And think about it:

It takes 40 weeks for pregnancy to bring forth a child.

I read on the website fathersofmercy.com that the symbolism behind the number 40 often represents new life, growth, transformation or the undertaking of a great task.

Some folks think 40 days is the ideal time to spend on desired change when breaking an old habit or investing in a new way of doing things. There is a social media phenomenon called 40 Day Challenge that nudges people toward adopting positive habits and letting go of bad ones.

Looking at 40 from all angles tells me it is a number of great significance and great things can happen in the passage of 40-something.

Soon we will be at the end of our 40 days of Lent. Have I grown? Transformed? Taken on a great task? Thank goodness there is still time!

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