• Pr. James Houck


Greetings in the name of Christ,

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.(Hebrews 11:1)

The word quarantine comes from the Italian word quarantina meaning forty-days. We have been quarantined for forty-days ever since the schools were closed on March 16th. My son Andrew says 'forty' must be God's favorite number because it is used extensively in the bible to mark periods of time.

And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark. (Genesis 7:1213) The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan. (Exodus 16:35) And the LORD said to Moses, "Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 34:2728) And the angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him [Elijah] and said, "Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you." 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 19:78) Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days' journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" (Jonah 3:14) 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 4:12) In the first book [Gospel of Luke], O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 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 1:13)

Forty means "a long time" and after each period of forty days or years, God gave a blessing.

After the flood the LORD God placed a rainbow in the sky as a sign of his covenant with all living creatures that never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.

After Moses was on Mount Sinai for forty days, God's people received the ten commandments.

After God's people were in the wilderness for forty years eating manna, they were led into the promised land.

After forty days traveling in the wilderness, Elijah spoke with God on Mount Horeb.

After Jonah went through the streets proclaiming, "Nineveh shall be overthrown!" The people of Nineveh believed God, repented, and received God's forgiveness.

After Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days and was tempted by the devil, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:1415)

After Jesus rose from the dead and was among the disciples for forty days, he ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit. Peter began to preach to the crowds on the day of Pentecost. And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:4041)

The temptations during this time is to get overly caught up in the news and politics and blame and despair of the world.


Remember the hymn:

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand. Our faith is built on hope in Christ Jesus. All other ground is sinking sand. On the fortieth day of our quarantine, let us give thanks to God the Father for His many blessings and focus our sights on Christ Jesus. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2) In the grace and truth of Christ, Pastor James H. Houck


1725 Old Tamah Road

Irmo, SC 29063

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