Today marks my 40th post about the Bible. This is a major milestone for me because when I started this blog, writing 40 posts was one of the goals I had in mind. There is nothing magical about the number 40. The Bible doesn’t require us to set aside 40 days of doing anything in particular. My initial goal of 40 posts for this blog is one I chose to impose on myself, not one mandated by Scripture.
However, in the Bible, the number 40 often refers to a period of testing.
40 days and nights in the ark (Genesis 7:12)
40 faithful to the Lord to spare Sodom (Genesis 18:29)
40 years of wandering in the wilderness (Exodus 16:35, Numbers 32:13)
40 days on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:18, Exodus 34:28)
40 days of spying (Numbers 13:25)
40 years of judging (Othniel, Deborah, Gideon)
40 years of Saul’s, David’s, and Solomon’s reign (1 Samuel 13:1, 2 Samuel 5:4, 1 Kings 11:42)
40 days warning Ninevah (Jonah 3:4)
40 days temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2)
40 days appearance post-resurrection (Acts 1:3)
It seemed fitting to me, then, that my first 40 posts represented a sort of personal trial period. I wanted to clean my lenses, to seek spiritual strength, to experience closeness with God, to understand more of Who He is (Hebrews 6:1). I wanted to see what could happen if I pushed myself to seek God in His Word over 2 months. No excuses. In the Word. Every day.
There were days I wrestled with God and felt lost. But every day, I have met God in His Word in a way I rarely have previously.
And here’s what I learned:
The more I read, the richer each reading becomes.
The more I look at God’s Word, the more I long to look.
The more I seek God’s treasure, the purer and more priceless the treasure I find.
In all, these 40 days of writing have been a journey of exponential growth, greater increase with passing time, doubling, then tripling, a miracle totally out of proportion with the container of me which God is always filling, more and more.
And what is the goal? Where does this knowledge lead? As Paul reminds us, even if we can fathom all the mysteries of heaven and all knowledge, even if we have faith that can move mountains, without love, we are nothing (1 Cor. 13:1-3).
So as I read, as I study, so I also pray. Help me to know more of You, give me love for and union with Christ, through His person and work, and with His Body, the Church.
Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
2 of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
3 And this we will do, if God permits.
4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God;
8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.
9 But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation …