A Sign of God’s Love
Yael Eckstein | May 1, 2023
Then the land had peace forty years. —Judges 5:31
As The Fellowship celebrates our 40th Anniversary this month, I want to share some devotional thoughts on the biblical significance of the number 40. In Scripture, 40 can represent many things, such as a new beginning or transformation. Join me as we explore the various meanings of this milestone year.
In Western culture, it’s common to celebrate the big anniversaries. Among the most common are the 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries, dubbed “silver” and “golden.” Some fortunate couples are blessed to celebrate their “diamond” anniversary after 75 years of marriage.
This year, The Fellowship is blessed to celebrate our 40th anniversary. You may be wondering, why make such a big deal about a 40th anniversary? Typically, people don’t really have special celebrations for a 40th anniversary. Is the 40th really that significant? If we look in the Bible, we find that the answer is a resounding “Yes!”
In the Bible, we find over and over that 40 years is a sign of God’s love and compassion for His people. For example, in the Book of Judges, we find the same phrase repeated three times: “So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died” (3:11); “Then the land had peace forty years” (5:31); and “During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace forty years” (8:28).
A Sign of God’s Love
In all three of these stories, we see a similar pattern. The people of Israel sinned before God. They were attacked, oppressed, or otherwise tormented by their enemies. They cried out to God and repented. God then sent a righteous leader to save them. The enemy was defeated. The leader led the people in praise of God. And all this was then followed by 40 years of peace and tranquility.
What we learn from this is amazing. When the Bible uses the same phrase repeatedly, it means that we’re supposed to notice the pattern and learn from it. The message here is powerful. Simply put, as we see in the Bible, 40 years of peace and success is a sign of God’s love and grace.
Based on this idea, there is a Jewish tradition to make a special celebration focused on praising God when a person lives to the age 40. Every day of our lives is a gift from God, a sign of His grace, love, and compassion.
So as we celebrate 40 years of growth and miraculous success at The Fellowship—thanks in large part to our Christians friends and supporters—we can know for certain that God has shone His face upon our organization and on our sacred work. It is through God’s guiding hand alone that we have been able to continue. Hallelujah!
Please join me in praising God for 40 years of Kingdom-building work here at The Fellowship. Now it’s time to start building the next forty years! Learn how you can get involved.