Why Forty Days? By Bo Sanchez
The Gospel says, “For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry” (Matthew 4:2).
Why forty? Why not thirteen or eighteen or twenty-five or eighty-seven?
The answer is in the Old Testament. Noah spent forty days and nights in the ark. Moses spent forty days and nights in Sinai. And the Israelites spent forty years in the desert going to the Promised Land.
What’s so special about forty?
Think with me: how long is pregnancy?
Answer: forty weeks
In the Bible, forty is the very long and difficult process of giving birth to something new.
I repeat: if the Spirit led you to the desert, be ready for something new to happen in your life.
In fact, when Matthew talks about the devil in the desert story, his readers knew he was referring to a passage in Deuteronomy: “Remember that these forty years the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His
commandments. He humbled you, and in your hunger He gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your fathers had known, so that you might understand that man does not
live on bread alone; but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:2-3, italics mine).
Does the last line sound familiar?
It’s the first temptation.
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