This revelation is based on the study of the great flood as recorded in Gen 6, 7 & 8. God has used the period of 40 days (and nights) as a bridge over troubles waters (signifying the challenges and pressures of life). Life is in two distinct phases, the phase of youthful exuberance and a phase of physical & spiritual maturity. In between these two phases is a definitive moment, a crossover point.
In those days, Life was good just like it is now. But it is written (Gen 6: 11) that God was grieved because of the wickedness violence and corruption in the land, a situation that perhaps could be compared to what we see around us today. But God had a redemptive plan to cleanse and restore the land however this plan required man to make a choice; believe, step into the Ark and be saved.
It is interesting to note that God always gives a warning and ample time for preparation. He even gives specific instructions (Gen 6: 14-16) on how to build the ark – the escape route. I can only imagine the eye rolling and gossiping when the project started, the story going round town would have been that Noah has finally lost his mind. We also know that the only humans that made it into the ark were Noah, his wives, his children & their spouses.
They made the right decision.
It was a time to move from a period of permissiveness due to youthful exuberance to one of decisiveness borne out of maturity and it would take a period of 40days and nights to make that transition. As I pondered, I wondered why 40? It rained for 40 days & nights, but the flood covered the earth for 150 days. What is the significance of 40? As I pondered, my mind is taken aback several thousand years and I am in the ark –
It is raining heavily; we have had to shut the windows to keep the rain out. The thunder, lightning, the noise is deafening as the water bounces off the roof. So what Noah said was true! What God said was true! It was all true!
The life we were all living grieved God. Ok, I was not as bad as some of my friends, but I permitted their excesses, I allowed the jokes. Now, He is wiping off the traces of all living things from the earth and I found grace. I made it into the ark.
For 40 days and night, the rain fell. I look around to see all passengers in different corners wearing the same pensive look I must have on my face. My heart is humbled, food and drink does not appeal to me. My thoughts are with the friends and neighbors that laughed as I packed my bags and helped Noah with the Ark. I recollect the times I tried to convince them to join us but they were adamant that we were all looney’s. I cringe as I remember how they banged on the door of the ark when the floods started to rise, I recognize their voices but I could do nothing because God himself had shut the door (Gen 7:16 ).
Why was I not more persuasive, perhaps I had a small doubt in my mind that the rain would not come. Did I get on the Ark because I wanted to obey Noah or because I wanted to obey God? Well Its all clear now, It was God that had spoken, It is God that has acted, it is in God I have found grace. When the rains are over, I would have to be a different person, a daughter that hears the voice of God, a daughter that discerns the spirit of God.
The rain has stopped now, Noah has opened the windows. There is a shout of joy as a refreshing breeze and the scent of fresh air fills the ark. The pensive period is over, we are all back to the hustle and bustle of everyday life and discussing how we must live once we get off the Ark. The Lesson has been learnt.
The Significance is glaring at me in the face as I am startled back to present times. 40 signifies a transition period, a bridge for me. Life continues after 40 but with lessons learnt. 40 years is a period that mould’s you and defines you. I have called this point in my life a bridge, a bridge to a new life, a fruitful life , a life filled with promises of greatness (Gen 8:22 – Gen 9:17 )
The Defining thought
Life is all about choices, Noah’s children did not have to get on the Ark, but they did and were saved. If any of the neighbors had shown up with their bags before God shut the door of the Ark, they also would have been saved, but none did until it was too late.
Today we can reflect on this lesson and accept that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light, He is our salvation, our bridge over the troubles and challenges of life. No matter how extreme your past has been, God still has the door open today, but this time it is a living door called Jesus (John 14:6). He calls on you to make that crossover decision today. Enter into His grace and receive grace, favour and revelation to carry you through the next phase of life.