The View from Mount Nebo
Big Idea: In this new year, we want to have 20/20 vision, which means that we see clearly where we are today, but also what God has prepared us to do for him in the years ahead.
Scripture: Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, which is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land … And the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ Deut 34:1-4 ESV
Last week we looked at eleven historical stories of God’s people patiently, and sometimes impatiently, struggling through 40 days, or 40 years, of testing. Faith waits, believing God for breakthrough, even when there may be no physical signs of victory.
Noah’s ark and the great flood. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. After the flood, it was a new beginning for Mankind.
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth”. Genesis 9:1 ESV
Isaac’s marriage at 40. “… and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, … to be his wife. Genesis 25:19c-20
And then God promised Isaac, “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed”. Genesis 26:3-4 ESV
Moses was trained in rulership for 40 years And 40 more years, to be a servant to rebellious sheep, before he finally moved ahead into his assignment. Now Moses was eighty years old, … when he and Aaron spoke to Pharaoh. Exodus 7:5-7 ESV.
And then miracles happened. And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people. Exodus 11:3 ESV
Moses waited on Mount Sinai for 40 days. So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water.
Exodus 34:28a ESV
After the 40 days, the 10 Commandments were given and God’s Covenant with Israel was established. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
Exodus 24:7-8 ESV
Israel spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. “I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Deuteronomy 29:5-6 ESV
And then breakthrough came. Joshua led Israel to claim God’s promised land. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. Joshua 1:2c-3 ESV
The enemy ruled for forty years. And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. Judges 13:1 ESV
But a new day was about to begin. And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the Lord blessed him.
And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him … Judges 13:24. And Samson led Israel to victory over the Philistines for 20 years.
Elijah waited 40 days to hear from God. 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. 1 Kings 19:7-8 ESV
Then Elijah heard the call of God. And when Elijah heard the still quiet voice, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:13 ESV
Nineveh was given 40 days to repent. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
And miraculously all of Nineveh repented. “the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them”. Jonah 3:4-5 ESV
Jesus fasted and was tested for 40 days. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Matthew 4:1-2 ESV
And then breakthrough came. After his baptism – he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. Matthew 4:23 ESV
The disciples patiently and prayerfully waited 40 days for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. Acts 1:3 ESV
And then breakthrough came. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:2-4 ESV
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Acts 2:41 ESV
The lame man waited 40 years for his healing. … For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
Acts 4:22 ESV
Then Healing followed. And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. Acts 3:7-9a ESV
After 40 weeks and a difficult transition, the miracle of a baby begins his life on earth.
For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children.
Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the Lord; Isaiah 66:7-9a ESV
40 is the age when a believer becomes an Elder, and this begins a new season of spiritual responsibility and growth. Northside Church turned 40 in 2019 and we have learned many important lessons over the years. Thankfully, if we remain faithful and stay on the right path, there is a strong new day ahead for our Northside Family. 20/20 vision will keep us keep our focus on Jesus.
It’s true! After 40, breakthrough comes! Isaiah 40 ends with this promise.
“…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 ESV
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