40 is the new 28!

Today, I celebrate my 40th birthday. As a child, you think 40 is “so old!” Actually, I now feel that 40 is “so young.” I still feel as though I have so much to learn and do. Some even say, “40 is the new 28!”
When my mom was 40, her youngest child, me, was a senior in high school and heading out to college. At 40, I have three kids at home and my youngest is in Kindergarten. There will be many years before we face the “empty nest” conundrum.
40 is a significant milestone for many. I never really thought I would freak out at 40, but I find myself quietly reflecting today on the significance of 40.
The number 40 in the Bible represents so many things. For example:
* The rains (in Noah's day) fell for 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:4).
* Israel ate Manna for 40 years (Exodus 16:35).
* Moses was with God in the mount, 40 days and nights (Exodus 24:18).
* Moses was again with God 40 days and 40 nights (Exodus 34:28).
* Moses led Israel from Egypt at age 80 (2 times 40), and after 40 years in the wilderness, died at 120 (3 times 40; Deuteronomy 34:7).
* The spies searched the land of Canaan for 40 days (Numbers 13:25).
* Therefore, God made Israel wander for 40 years (Numbers 14:33-34).
* 40 stripes was the maximum whipping penalty (Deuteronomy 25:3).
* God allowed the land to rest for 40 years (Judges 3:11).
* God again allowed the land to rest for 40 years (Judges 5:31).
* God again allowed the land to rest for 40 years (Judges 8:28).
* Abdon (a judge in Israel) had 40 sons (Judges 12:14).
* Israel did evil; God gave them to an enemy for 40 years (Judges 13:1).
* Eli judged Israel for 40 years (1 Samuel 4:18).
* Goliath presented himself to Israel for 40 days (1 Samuel 17:16).
* Saul reigned for 40 years (Acts 13:21).
* Ishbosheth (Saul's son) was 40 when he began reign (2 Samuel 2:10).
* David reigned over Israel for 40 years (2 Samuel 5:4, 1 Kings 2:11).
* The holy place of the temple was 40 cubits long (1 Kings 6:17).
* 40 baths (measurement) was size of lavers in Temple (1 Kings 7:38).
* The sockets of silver are in groups of 40 (Exodus 26:19 & 21).
* Solomon reigned same length as his father; 40 years (1 Kings 11:42).
* Elijah had one meal that gave him strength 40 days (1 Kings 19:8).
* Ezekiel bore the iniquity of the house of Judah for 40 days (Ezekiel 4:6).
* Jehoash (Joash) reigned 40 years in Jerusalem (2 Kings 12:1).
* Egypt to be laid desolate for 40 years (Ezekiel 29:11-12).
* Ezekiel's (symbolic) temple is 40 cubits long (Ezekiel 41:2).
* The courts in Ezekiel's temple were 40 cubits long (Ezra 46:22).
* God gave Nineveh 40 days to repent (Jonah 3:4).
* Jesus fasted 40 days and nights (Matthew 4:2).
* Jesus was tempted 40 days (Luke 4:2, Mark 1:13).
* Jesus remained on earth 40 days after resurrection (Acts 1:3).
* Women are pregnant for 40 weeks (time of testing).
I am so thankful that I serve a God who can restore the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25) in my life. There was a period of time that I made so many mistakes and bad choices, even while I was still doing “good things.” I am thankful for a God that is full of mercy and grace and offers the free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9) to anyone who seeks Him (Matthew 7:8).
If I had one wish today on my birthday it would be that all of my family and friends would earnestly seek Him and accept that free gift He is holding out for you to take a hold of. I know for sure that my eternity is in Heaven and I pray that each person reading this has that assurance locked up as well.

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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Susan Webster - September 19th, 2013 at 9:37pm

Happy Birthday to my gifted Bible study leader. Thank you for ALL you do!

Joni - September 22nd, 2013 at 7:41am

Happy Birthday Erin!