Forty Days and Forty Nights ~ Hymn 167
Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
Matthew 4 1:11
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
Both of these hymns are appropriate for Ash Wednesday through the days of Lent. Both of these hymns recount Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the wilderness. Both hymns tell how Jesus was victorious over these temptations. Both relate our own spiritual testing and our reliance upon Christ to see us through them and to a glorious never-ending Easter.
Listen to the last two stanzas of Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days:
And through these days of penitence, and through this Passiontide, yes evermore in life and death, O Lord with us abide. Abide with us, till when this life of suffering shall be past, An Easter of unending joy we may attain at last.
Again, listen to the third and fifth stanzas of Forty Days and Forty Nights:
Then if Satan on us press, flesh or spirit to assail, victor in the wilderness, grant that we not faint or fail! Keep, O keep us, Savior dear, ever constant by your side, that with you we may appear at the eternal Eastertide.
O God, we thank You that Jesus was tested in every way as are we, yet without sin. Give us strength to withstand our temptations. Grant that we may see beyond the trials of this life to an Easter of unending joy. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.