Matthew 4:2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterwards hungry.
There is something very significant about the forty days and forty nights of fasting from Jesus Christ. In addition there is something very significant of the number forty in relation to God’s astounding miraculous works. In Genesis 7:4 God tells Noah that He will cause it to rain forty days and nights to destroy every living substance that God created. In Genesis 50:3 special physicians were ordered to embalm the body of Joseph’s father Jacob. The Egyptians were known as the best in their craft to preserve the body from putrefaction. The embalming of Jacob’s body lasted forty days. In Exodus 34:28 Moses was at the mountain of Sinai writing the Ten Commandments without eating neither drinking for forty days and forty nights. In Numbers 14 God tells Moses to pick men of each tribe to spy out the land of Cannan, and bring back a SALUTE report to Moses. Their recon mission lasted for forty days. In 1Samuel 17 the Army of Israel and the Army of the Philistines are at a standoff. Before the young David kills Goliath the Giant; Goliath provokes, belittles, mocks, and insults the Army of God for forty days. None in all the Israel army would fight the Philistine because they were afraid. 1Kings 2:11 King David reigned in Jerusalem for forty years. 1Kings 11:42 the son of King David, who was King Solomon reigned in Jerusalem for forty years. 1Kings 19:8 an angel of the Lord awoke Elijah twice, and commanded him to eat food and drink that was prepared for him. It was the only food and water he had for forty days, which was the amount of time he traveled to mount Horeb. In Jonah 3:4 God tells the prophet Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh, and proclaim to the city that they will be overthrown in forty days. Acts 1:3 Jesus Christ after being resurrected appears to His disciples preaching to them the Gospel of the Kingdom for forty days, then He ascended to Heaven. Most of these passages that speak of the number forty are in relation to days. There are still more passages that refer to the number forty in relation to years; for example, Isaac was forty years old when He married Rebecca. Esau was forty years old when he married Judith. The Israelites ate manna from Heaven for forty years. Because of God’s anger He made the Israelites wonder the desert for forty years until that generation that kindled His anger died. Yet still in His anger He showed His mercy by feeding and sustaining their clothing and sandals for forty years, and they lacked nothing because God was with them. There are 27 verses in the bible referencing forty days, and there are 54 verses in the bible referencing forty years.
All these biblical occurrences involving the number 40 are not chance, luck, or coincidence. Those concepts do not exist when an all sovereign God exists; who is in control over all the elements of existence including the lives of men as it is obviously evident throughout the entire bible. Chance and luck are words used by atheists as a substitute for God, as they attempt to explain the extraordinary coincidental circumstances. For example; they will say, “that was lucky,” or “you reap what you sow;” but what they are implying is that there is an invisible force called luck, which is in control of contingent factors. What they are suppressing is the fact that, the invisible force they implicate is the one true living God; our Holy God! This gives verification to Romans 1:16-22 where Paul tells us that, God has revealed Himself to all men within themselves through the invisible things to the visible things, but man suppresses the truth, and in their wisdom they become fools.
Based on scripture, I would agree with 19th century bible scholar E. W. Bullinger that, the number forty is in “association with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement,” (Bullinger). Bullinger reveals something interesting through the factors of forty which are; 4, 5, 8, and 10. The number 5 according to Bullinger’s book; “Numbers in Scripture,” is the number of grace. In order for grace to be manifested there needs to be a creation and redemption within that creation. There are only three alone who can attribute the work of grace to its creation, and that is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; therefore, the Father + The Son + The Holy Spirit + creation + redemption equals five; the number of grace. The number eight in Hebrew signifies revival and renewal. Consider the seventh day of creation when God rested from a work of perfection. The eighth day which followed was a new beginning. So, 5 multiplied by 8 = 40; which may be translated, as God’s grace given to you to overcome a probation, trial, or chastisement period, which then leads to renewal in your mind, or revival in your spirit for the sake of Christ.
Luke tells us in chapter 4:2 that after the end of fasting forty days and nights Christ was hungry. We see then that although God’s miraculous power was with Him to endure such a fast; His human nature was still relevant, which also indicates that the temptations of Satan where tempting. It is not as if Christ was absolutely passive to the temptations of the Devil, the human nature of Christ was tempted. And so it is with us who desire to serve the Lord, or begin to minister for God; expect temptation to occur. Prepare to endure tribulation before, or during your service to our God. Matthew Henry wrote that; “The assurance of our son-ship is the best preparative for temptation,” (Henry). A son of God is one who recognizes what he is in Christ, one who has acknowledged that he is being conformed to the image of Christ, who is the image of the invisible God. A son of God is one who studies the word of God everyday and not just studies but becomes a doer of what the word says. The son-ship between man and God is by adoption thanks to our Savior.
Ephesians 1:5 having predestined us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.
Know your God. Know your Gospel and let nothing pervert it. Stand firm for your faith and know why you believe in the faith you believe in; so you may account for why you believe and be able to give a reason for your hope to those who ask. Satan seeks to destroy like a roaring lion; not physically but cognitively. He seeks to deceive as he did with Adam and Eve, and as he attempted with Christ but failed. So examine your doctrine and theology because whatever system of theology you believe; it will dictate how you interpret the scriptures. Get your knowledge from God’s word, and keep your knowledge in God’s word; so your faith may be strong when it comes time to be tempted. And remember the power of God’s love for those who believe in Christ.
Romans 8:32-39 Truly He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he condemning? It is Christ who has died, but rather also who is raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For Your sake we are killed all the day long. We are counted as sheep of slaughter.” 37 But in all these things we more than conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.