This is one thing that strikes me when I study the Bible because I find it easy to overlook numbers/figures since they are only few verses apart. Let’s take a look at examples and you’d understand what I mean:
- Abraham was 75 years old when God promised him the blessings (Gen 12:1-4). Isaac wasn’t born until Abraham was 100 (Gen 21:5). 25 years…stop to consider what Abraham must have been thinking in his head.
- Everybody likes the story of Joseph– Prisoner turned Prince. We don’t know at what age he got sold into slavery by his brothers but we know this: he was 17 years old when he reported his brothers (Gen 37:2) and then he became prince at 30 years of age (Gen 41:42). That’s 13 years (with prison time of at least 2 years).
- The journey to the Promise land by the Israelites took 40 years (Joshua 5:6). Of course they had a hand in it because of disobedience and stuff but 40 years? Let’s put it in perspective: If you were 10 years old when you started your journey, you’d have been 50 by the time you finish (considering that finish was even just starting because they had to conquer and build).
- Nehemiah started praying (and fasting) to God in the month of Chisleu (Neh 1:1,4). He got a favorable response in the month of Nisan (Neh 2:1). Chisleu is the 3rd month. Nisan is the 7th month. The answer manifested 4 months after.
- David committed a sin and God told him the consequence. He went on a fast before the Lord in 2 Sam 12:16. 2 verses later in verse 18, look what the Bible says: “And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died…” David lay before the Lord, fasting, for 7 seven days!
- Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days (Luke 4:2). Imagine being away from everyone from 1st of March till 10th of April…
- In Acts 15, there was dispute among some men who were teaching circumcision as a prerequisite for salvation, and Paul and Barnabas who opposed such view. To resolve it, they decided to go to Jerusalem, 300 miles away. Research shows that in those days, they could travel only 20-30 miles per day.
- Paul was left in bonds for 2 years because one man decided to show favor to the Jews (Acts 24:27). 2 years in bonds for a crime you didn’t commit. We also know he spent at least another 2 years in Rome.
I’m sure you get the picture. Verses being close together could represent weeks and even years. In relation to faith, it could help us understand the place of patience.
Food for thought:
You know that Scripture that says one day is like a 1000 years to God and vice? What do you think about it?
Hebrews 10:36 “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”