Beth Moore — 40 Days (Full Sermon)
Now, here's what I want you to do, turn with me to Exodus 34:28 and then also 29. This is really interesting. And "So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he," And this he is God, "wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments". Notice that it says in 29, "When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God".
Maybe you've heard that story a thousand times. I've heard it many times myself, but it still is just awe inspiring, isn't it? That honestly, his skin had soaked in the light of the glory of God until when he came down, his face was just gleaming. Did you also notice with me that he did not eat or drink for those 40 days? Very interesting because in Deuteronomy 9, verse 9 and 18, you don't have to look at it, just take my word for it. He says again, "I neither ate nor drank," and he's telling this to the Israelites. It's like Moses wants him to know, "I just need you to know, I went 40 days. I did not eat or drink the whole time I was up there".
So keep that in mind and turn with me and now let's see another set of 40 days in 1 Kings chapter 19. If you'll bear with me, I'll start at verse 1. "Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets..." This is the prophets of Baal, this very, very evil worship that had taken place in the land that God has given them and the whole land was just idolatrous. And so, Elijah had been used of God to bring a great victory for Israel. And it says in verse to 2, "Then Jezebel sent "a messenger to Elijah, saying, 'So may the gods do to me "'and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.'" So, she threatens him and says, listen, "My life might as well be like theirs if you are not dead by this time tomorrow". In verse 3, "Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran "for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there".
Now, hold with me just a second because somebody is in this situation this very weekend 'cause God has done a wild and glorious thing with you and now you're just running in fear. It's like it never even happened. It's like after all that, now we're scared to death. After all you've been through with him, now you're afraid he's not gonna keep you, not gonna take you, not gonna shield you, not gonna come through for you. So, he speaks to us through the prophet Elijah and it says in verse 4, "But he himself went a day's journey" So, he leaves the servant there, he goes a day's journey. "He sits down under a broom tree. "And he asked that he might die, saying, 'It is enough; "'now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers'".
Somebody needs in word in here today because there are you who have over and over and over and over contemplated ending your own life, and you need to know that that is the voice of destruction and darkness and that is not God, that is not God. And I'm gonna tell you one of most distressing things that can happen to us. I'll just put this out here for you to think about, something to think about later, is that sometimes what depresses us most is, "I'm no different than them. "I thought I was gonna turn out different". "I judged all these people and as it turns out, I'm no different than them". Anybody, anybody? Listen, that is space for grace. Right there is space for grace.
Watch what God does to him in his estate. Verse 5, "He lay down and slept under a broom tree. "And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, "'Arise and eat.' "And he looked, and behold, "there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones "and a jar of water. "And he ate and drank and lay down again. "And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, 'Arise and eat'". I mean, that's when you want a word from God right there is arise and eat, especially, truly y'all, really? And especially if he cooked it. I mean, I'm all about that. This was breakfast in bed. This is good right here. "Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you". Listen, Elijah's going, "I'm not going on any journey. I'm laying on the broom tree, poor pitiful me, take me home. I did not turn out any better than my fathers". He goes, "You're gonna need this meal for your journey".
Somebody needs to know this weekend your journey has just begun. It's just begun. Get those thoughts of suicide off of you, that is not of God. That is of destruction, that is of the devil. That is not God talking to you. You got a journey ahead of you and it's gonna be good. It's gonna be good. Verse 8 says, "And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God". If you were gonna have one meal that was gonna last you 40 days and 40 nights, what would it be, amen? I know what mine would be. Cheese enchiladas with chili, gravy, a real soupy kind of refried beans. I like 'em real soupy. I don't like them to be separated. I don't like them to be a clump. I want them just like soup on the plate. Then I want it to run all into the Spanish rice and I want that chili gravy to just kind of go all over the whole thing. Anybody know what I'm talking about? And I'd like to have a bowl of tortilla chips sitting right there with big chunky, chunky, chunky salsa. Come on, somebody.
Our point is this, do you know that in this 40 days after the resurrection, day one being the day of resurrection, the 40th day being the day of ascension, do you know it was not a time of fasting? So, some of you are thinking, "I've, you know, just been through lent and I fasted on this and so I'm about as interested in doing another fast over the next 40 days as, you know you can imagine". Well, actually it wasn't a time of fasting. It just almost seemed like Jesus made a point out of eating. John 21:12 through 14 says, "Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' Now none of the disciples dared ask him, 'Who are you?' Because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead".
Isn't that very intriguing? After all these 40-day fasts, he got them eating. All right, go with me to Luke 24, look at 29 through 30, 29 through 30, this is the two on the road to Emmaus, one of their names is Cleopas. We don't know the other name, but the two, they're walking along, they're devastated because their hope was in Jesus. He did not come through. They do not know that he's been raised from the dead. And he comes up and he walks next to them. They're telling him all about himself, only they don't know it's him. In verse 25 he says to them, "And he says to them, O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. And he acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, 'Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent'. So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them," in verse 30, "he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them". And, boom, "their eyes were opened," in verse 31, "and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight".
He breaks bread with them, boom, they know it's him. 24:41 through 42, watch him eat again. Verse 41 same chapter it says, this is when he appears to his disciples he just like suddenly is with them standing among them and he says to them, in verse 39, "'See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see 'that I have'. And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and he showed him his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy..." What that means, if you're ever like, "I can't believe it. I can't believe it". It was that kind of thing. They could not get that. Their minds to wrap around what they were seeing because, "They still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, 'Have you anything here to eat?' So they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.
Now, go with me here because like he can walk through walls, but his body was still the kind of body that could eat. I don't know if it's helpful to you to know that we are going to eat in our glorified bodies. Wouldn't it be disappointing if we weren't? I mean, like we're gonna have like a big festivals and stuff, and like the big marriage supper of the Lamb, so we're gonna be able to eat. Oh, somebody wants to say amen to that. And you're not gonna even have to cook it. It's just gonna be done for you. I thought somebody needed to get pretty excited. Okay, so I mean like boom, boom, boom, he shows up with him and food comes in it over and over. So, isn't it interesting 40 days here in this period of time, nobody's fasting here. I mean, I'm not saying anything. We have fasts. I'm just saying, very, very interesting turnover here. An inversion happens in this 40-day period.
Now, look back at Acts 1:4, I'm gonna show you something interesting. I know I keep saying that, I'mma think of a new word, intriguing. I'm gonna show you something so intriguing. Acts 1:4, it is possible, stay with me here, it is possible that he is even making reference in Acts 1:4 to eating with them. "And then while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, 'You heard from me.'" All right, do you see those words "while staying with them"? So, maybe somebody here is going, "So like okay, was he like staying with them or was he eating with them"? The word that is used in the Greek could be translated either way, but there's this fellowshipping, this fellowshipping around the table. It's very much covenant life between Israelites, between Jews to sit at the table together and to pass the salt together. Beautiful thing, beautiful thing.
So, all this inversion, all this time at the table, fellowshipping. They don't know when he's gonna show up. He's not scheduled here in appearances. He just shows up and reveals himself. Verse 45, "Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures". Sixteen-year-old, that's when I'm praying for you. I'm praying for everybody in this room that he will open our minds to understand the Scriptures. That word "understand" is so incredibly cool. "To comprehend, understand or perceive. The comprehending activity of the mind denoted by this word entails the assembling of individual facts into an organized whole, as collecting the pieces of a puzzle and putting them together. The mind grasps concepts and sees the proper relationship between them".
See, I've lived long enough to see that a couple of things in my background that were really horrible, they fit with my calling. I don't want to force that on you. You have to come to your own peace over your own background, but my God is sovereign and the evil that came to me in my childhood abuse was not of God. It was not planned by God. But it somehow was allowed in my life process but I'm gonna tell you something. It's a puzzle piece for me today because I use it every single day of my ministry life, every single day, bar none. If you're gonna be called to women's ministry and one in four women have my background, somebody among those women ministering to women is gonna have my background. It just is a puzzle piece that fits what he has called me to do. Anybody know what I'm talking about? You got puzzle pieces that fit, things that you've been through and they come and they start because of my calling. These things have happened to set me up for my calling, for the reason why I'm on the planet, understanding, understanding.
I want you to see these words. We'll read the first three verses, Numbers 13:1 through 3 and then 24 through 30. "The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a chief among them'. So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran, according to the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the people of Israel". And these were their names, from the tribe. It shows all of the heads of these tribes that were sent in as spies. You would find that Caleb is among them and you'd find that Joshua, although he was Hoshe'a at this point, but his name is changed to Joshua.
Then go with me to verse 25. It says this, "At the end of the forty days," so the spies were sent in, they went for 40 days important to us, "they returned from spying out the land. "They came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the people of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, 'We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However.'" Listen, this is when we get into trouble, it's 28. "'However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.' But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, 'Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.'"
Verse 31, "Then the men who had gone up with him said, 'We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.' And so they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, 'The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height.'"
Observation, you and I are gonna ask God to give us eyes that observe the sphere of the influence he has given us, as a field that is ripe for harvest, to change the dimension, change the perspective of the way we see the situation we're in. How are we looking at the land that God has put around us? Because only two men came out from all of these and said, "We are very well able. Our God has given us this land". But the rest were so intimidated that the reason why they were 40 years in the wilderness, Numbers 14 tells us, is that it was a year to go for every single day that faithless spies spied out the land.
I don't know how they disguised themselves 'cause they went in as spies into the land of Canaan. I gotta tell you something, you know, I don't know if you have any familiarity with this story at all. I hate to be redundant if you are but as a grandmother, one of the fun things that I just love to do with my grandkids is that I have a closet that I call Bibi's secret closet. I'm Bibi, that my grandmother name. My oldest grandson, my grandson named me that name and it's just precious to me. And I was have a secret closet that they're not even able to touch. They can't even touch the doorknob, no, no, very secret. They know that if they ever, ever look inside that closet, it's all over. And so, I keep really like it's just cheap things in there. Like, there'll be little candies. Every once if a while, it's something more substantial, but it's only that if it's been a while.
For the most part, it's just like just fun, dumb stuff, but they just absolutely love it because it's a surprise. And they stand down at the end of the hall and they just like, their little legs just like shake like this. They can hardly stand it and all the anticipation I hide it behind my back, and I look around the closet and I mean, it is the greatest fun. And if you ask them today, "Do you wish that she would just hand it to you when you come in the door"? Never, they love the surprise. They love all the buildup of it. Well, on Sunday, I gave Jackson a little gift out of the Bibi's secret closet that was a package of fake mustaches, and I don't think we have ever enjoyed anything more out of Bibi's secret closet than these fake mustaches. I'm gonna show you me, and Jackson, and Anna Beth together, yes, yes, that's us. Listen y'all, we were so tickled that we could not keep our mustaches on, that's why we had to frown in the picture is because every time we would laugh, they would fall right off. So, like I don't know, did they have on glasses, noses, mustaches, I don't know?
Observation, how are we gonna see it? You and I've come here this weekend to change our perception of what we see in front of us. I want you to write down a truth that we're gonna build on this weekend. I believe that we're gonna see Scripture support this statement right here. In spiritual terms, who we see, and that's REVELATION, dictates how we see, and that is OBSERVATION. The more he reveals himself to you, the more revelation comes to us, the more it will change our observation because whoever your mind is most on, they are coloring how you observe the rest of your world. Is that fair? And that can be true in a very negative way. A major person in your life may have betrayed you and so the way you look if your entire world is colored with that betrayal, no one's trustworthy. Because why? Because my major person betrayed me. If we weren't loved, if all we see, our eyes are on the one person who did not love us well, then it colors everything else in the world. No one really loves well.
Am I speaking truth to you? Because how we see is dependent upon who we see, and we want eyes to see Jesus that in everything we do and everything we experience that that's what we're looking for, that's what we're out for, that we have a taste for him and we desire to see him revealed in his Word because the more we see him revealed, the more we have that revelation, the more it will change our observation when we begin to get kingdom minded. He spent those 40 days talking them about the kingdom of God. You and I are come here this weekend to begin, if we've not already, begin to develop a kingdom observation that changes the way we see that we no longer say about the world that surrounds us in our sphere of influence, "Those people are too big for me," but we are well able, more than overcomers, because our God has called us and our God is with us, amen? Our God is with us. We're no longer in disguise. We stand as lights of the world.
Anybody know what 40 would have to do with a Monopoly game? Forty spaces. You know what the Lord began to put on my heart? That there were so many of us in this room that think if God exists at all, he's just playing a game with us. We're all these little pawns down here. We're just like puppets. It's just like, whatever, just throw the dice just however it's gonna go, however it's gonna go. It's all chance, nothing's planned. Everything about your life is just what rolls next. Some of you are convinced in this room you're just like a victim to the dailiness of existence on planet Earth, and you've come this weekend to discover that there is a reason why you were put, why your little footprints are on this planet, and we have to got to get to the things of our purpose and our calling and do what we were placed here to do because there is nothing about your life that is up to chance, absolutely nothing.
You were foreordained for the exact generation you live in, that is according to Acts chapter 17. You were even put in your parts of the world so that you might be part of people seeking Jesus and finding Jesus. Your life is the furthest thing of all from chance. There's no roll of dice where you're concerned. It's not just walking from one space to the next space with no plan whatsoever. God has got a plan for your life and it is beautiful. Now, some of us in this room, we're convinced that the only reason we want to go to heaven is because it beats hell. Because to be honest, it kind of gets on our nerves that somebody wants all the attention. Am I speaking the truth to anybody? This is a dictatorship. Mr. Monopoly, he's got us all on the board down here. He's having fun with us, or is this a King with a kingdom who has called us as his royal sons and daughters? Perspective, observation, your revelation, whatever it is, whatever it is. We seek revelation through pornography, revelation through every other kind of knowledge, stream of knowledge there is out there. Wherever we're getting our revelation, it is completely coloring our observation and what we see with eyes of royal sons and daughters.