I am not a numerologist; however, numbers are important to God because He recorded them in His Word! They have to mean something and I believe in the Jewish culture they are crucially vital!
I have seen numerous posts on social media about the 40-day stay at home order and how it relates to events in scripture. So, today, we are going on a 40-day journey in The Word. Ready?
- The Noahic Flood. Genesis 7.17
- Jacob’s Enbalming. Genesis 50.2,3
- Moses on Mount Sinai. Exodus 24.18
- Spies in Canaan. Numbers 13.25
- Moses’ Prayer. Deuteronomy 9.25-29
- Goliath’s arrogance. 1 Samuel 17.16
- Elijah’s Fast. 1 Kings 19.2,8
- Ninevah’s Probation. Jonah 3.4
- Christ’s Temptation. Luke 4.1,2
- Christ’s Ministry after the Resurrection. Acts 1.3
The number forty to the Jews is a number that, when used in terms of time, represents a period of probation, trial, and chastisement (not to be confused with judgment which is represented by the number 9). As the product of 5 and 8, it also signifies grace (5) ending in revival or a new beginning (8). (Google search)
Thank you, Professor McGoogle. Interesting, right?
Normal or Familiar?
Sunday, I streamed Steven Furtick’s message from an empty Elevation Ballantyne Campus! Empty of people but filled with the Spirit of God. Man, what a message it was. I took a lot of notes but the one thing that sticks the best: People are confusing normal with old and familiar. We want faith to be our new normal. Being an agent of change, and loving change – that excited me. I never want to get stuck in the rut of old and familiar. God is a God of new things and I want to be a part of that. On with the new. Out with the old and familiar!
Let’s Go To Ninevah!
Let’s go down a rabbit trail! You remember Jonah? The man who ended up in the belly of a big fish? The book of Jonah in the Old Testament is a fast read and I would encourage you to dive in if you need a refresher lesson!
What got Jonah into big trouble was his rebellion. God distinctly told him to go preach to the lost people of Ninevah, a very big city at the time. Jonah paid the fare and got on a boat going in the opposite direction. There was a massive storm at sea and, funny thing, the crew knew something was not right and began checking the ship’s manifest. They even cast lots to see who the troublemaker was. Lo and behold – the lot fell on Jonah.
You can run but you cannot hide, Jonah!
Jonah ‘fessed up and the crew threw him overboard and a big fish came along and swallowed him up.
God gave Jonah a mission and he failed – he failed because he rebelled and refused to do what God told him to do.
What if the “whale” represents “the church”, where we take refuge? We feel safe IN church. But, God told us to go into the world and make disciples (Jonah, go to lost Ninevah and preach righteousness to the thousands of hopeless people.) In this season of stay at home, we have been spit out of the whale! Are we redeeming our time? Or, are we sitting under a vine? (see Jonah 4)
Remember, this is “what if?” But, I love to get myself thinking and therefore, I like to get YOU thinking as well.
We do have a God of second chances and He definitely gave Jonah one. He’s given me at least 33 “second chances!” How about you?
Jonah did do what God told him to do…finally, but with a lousy attitude. How is MY attitude during this stay at home time?
Ninevah was saved! So the people of Ninevah believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. (All of them!)
Take-away’s from Jonah:
- Check my rebellion meter.
- Am I walking in obedience or disobedience?
- Where or Who is my (your) Ninevah?
- How is my attitude? Do I do things begrudgingly or willingly with joy?
- God does change His mind – when there is repentance.
- God is a second-chance God.
- I might be able to run from God temporarily but IF I truly belong to Him? I cannot hide and He will find me!
When This Is Over
I want to embrace the new – I don’t want to return to the old and the familiar. I want to find out where God is working and I want to join Him. I do not want to spend the remainder of my days in the belly of a whale – I want to fulfill my mission. What about you?
Click on the whale for a 14-day devotional study on the book of Jonah! Kids over 12 might enjoy it too!
Tea With Jennifer says
Great post Susan!
Yes the world is going to look far different after CoVid19 but He is already there & we will sup with Him! How exciting!
Yes! We will! And, have heavenly cuppas!
Tea With Jennifer says
Jennifer Smith says
Enjoyed – and thanks for the devotional! Have a healthy week:)
Thank YOU for coming by!
Joanne Viola says
Funny to me to see you mention Jonah, as I was reading the story just last week! I love when God works this way. As I read, I asked myself this question: What or who is my Ninevah? I don’t want to miss the opportunities God places in front of me. Have a blessed and safe day!
That entire book of Jonah is a soul-searcher, isn’t it?
I’ve already started on my new! Cannot wait. But first things first and the LORD understands! A haircut! A pedicure! A cut for our “new” “mature” Violet! A dip in the pool! Cannot wait for that! But all the time getting started on the “card” ministry for LOCC.
Abiding in Him then, now, forever!
Then, Now, Forever. AMEN!
Michele Morin says
I always enjoy going down a rabbit hole with you! And I think our big assignment right now is to pay attention to ending well. Whether or not we’re happy with how we’ve been handling the stay at home order, we can always start new.
Rabbit trails are more fun with YOU!
Michele Morin says
Tammy Mashburn says
Love, love YOU!
Kitty Lawrence says
Pastor Steven Furtick doesn’t have anything on you. Good word.
WOWZERS! Thanks, K.
I keep hearing the word “Biblical” to describe so many things that are going on in this world! Even though it seems so chaotic now, I think many people are searching for something “new” and looking again to find answers in the Bible. I pray that it is so.
I pray so too.
You DID get me thinking this morning. I never thought of the church being the whale in the Jonah story before, but you are right – we do become comfortable, don’t we? We should be redeeming our time. Thank goodness we have a God of second (and third, fourth, etc.) chances! Great post, Susan!
Laurie, THANK YOU. It is our human nature to get comfortable and that is the last place God wants us.
Jeanne Takenaka says
Susan, wow what a post! I have never thought about the church being the whale before. I so appreciate your exhortation to make our days count. I’ve been thinking about loved ones in my life who don’t walk (or walk closely) with the Lord. I’ve found myself praying more fervently for them, and reaching out as I’m able.
Thanks for this!!
Hey Jeanne, it is always nice to have you over to my house!!!