Wednesday Word 2.28.2018

Mark 1:9-13 New International Version

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” 12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Forty keeps coming up in the Bible. It rained for forty days and forty nights when Noah was afloat in the Ark (Gen. 8:6). When Jacob died, he was embalmed in the Egyptian manner so that Joseph could return him to Canaan as he had requested. It took forty days (Gen. 50:3). In Exodus, we find out Moses spent forty days in the cloud up on the Mountain with God. Verse 34:28 says he didn’t eat or drink while he was up there. In Numbers 13, Moses sent spies to check out the Promised Land and they were gone forty days. In Numbers 14, the people freaked out thinking they could never overcome the residents and God was incensed. He condemned them to wander for forty years, one year for every day the spies were in the Land of Milk & Honey. In 1 Samuel 17, Goliath challenged the Israelites to single combat by taking a stand for forty days before David stepped up to defeat him. Elijah, Ezekiel, and the whole city of Nineveh had their own forty day ordeals set down by God.

For us, Lent lasts for forty days between Ash Wednesday and Easter morning, not counting the Sundays. We are meant to use this time to reflect on our relationship with God. I guess you could look at this forty day period Jesus spent in the desert as his period of reflection. Jesus the human could have turned away from his Father and accepted Satan’s promises at any moment. Jesus the Divine would not. You are charged with making this decision every day. It is your choice whether to turn away from your Father and worship the false gods of this world, or follow Jesus Christ. The world is filled with temptations. How do you face them?…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki