I wonder if you feel the same as I do when a positive sign appears on your pregnancy test. A feeling of awe washes over me. Realizing that a miracle has occurred inside my body is a special thrill that is hard to describe. I walk around for the first few days feeling as if I am the most special woman in the world.
My last three babies have been close together. We weren’t exactly trying to get pregnant, yet the euphoric feeling still took hold of me each time I discovered I was pregnant again. I will admit though, that the thrill fades somewhat when the nausea arrives.
I have come to believe that the excitement of expecting another child is not the only cause for this wonderment. When we are pregnant, we are visible proof of God’s handiwork. It is no wonder we feel so awed and honored. Our swelling bellies reveal God’s divine order.
Our gestational period is 40 weeks. We are the only species with this time period. Cattle are the closest to us but there is still several days’ difference. Is 40 weeks some random number on which God decided? No, God does nothing randomly. David, the Psalmist declares, “As God is perfect so are his works perfect.” (1)
Throughout the whole of creation we see numbers are not used haphazardly, but with significance. In fact, Isaiah says, “God comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the hills in a balance.” (2) If God has measured the dust, how much more concerned is he with the details of our own physiology?
The Psalmist says, “I meditate on all thy works. I muse on the works of thy hands.” (3) Let’s muse for a moment on the significance of 40 weeks. Numbers in Scripture have special meaning.* For instance, each time the number 40 is used throughout the Bible, it denotes testing, probation, or preparation.
It rained for 40 days and 40 nights at the time of the flood. Israel experienced 40 years of probation by trial as they wandered in the wilderness. Moses endured the deserts of Midian for 40 years, and spent 40 days with God on the mountain of Horeb. The people of Nineveh were given 40 days of probation to decide whether to repent or perish. Satan tempted Christ for 40 days in the wilderness. There were 40 years between the crucifixion and the destruction of Jerusalem.
We may glean from this that our baby’s 40 weeks inside our womb is an example of the test we face in life. We are here to either choose Christ who is the light, or Satan who is the darkness. Of course, God offers us perfect counsel in Deuteronomy when he says, "I have set before you life and death. Choose life.” (4)
It’s an awesome privilege for us to carry life in our wombs and also to reveal some of God’s wonder to the world. Our 40-week pregnancy not only speaks of a new baby, but of the all-important choice this baby faces.
Now let me get a little technical. Our pregnancies, which are 280 days, are 40 x 7. God uses seven - which means spiritual perfection or completion - over and over again in creation. Seven is the number that regulates every period of incubation or gestation in insects, birds, animals and man. Some examples are: Mouse and common hen– 21 days (3x7), hare and rat –28 days (4x7), cat – 56 days (8x7), dog – 63 days (9x7), lion – 98 days (14x7), sheep – 147 days (21x7), duck – 42 days (6x7).
Moses declared that the number of man’s days are “three score years and ten” which is sixty plus ten, i.e., 70 years (7 x 10). (5) In seven years all the cells in the body are replaced.
Science reveals that man is created on a seven-day principle. In various diseases, for example, the 7th, 14th and 21st days are critical. Our hearts beat on a seven-day principle. Six days out of seven they beat faster in the morning than in the evening, while on the seventh they beat more slowly in the morning. The number seven is stamped on our physiology and that is why God has told us to rest one day in seven.
The average weight of a newborn baby is seven pounds. Of course, just as we can be either earlier or later than 40 weeks with our pregnancies, so our babies may also be smaller or bigger than seven pounds. The fact still remains, that according to the medical profession, a seven-pound baby is the perfect size to push through the birth canal.
I believe Jesus was seven pounds at birth. He is the perfect one. How could he be anything other than perfection at birth? Okay, there’s no verse in the Bible to back me up but it is something to think about it.
I’ll leave you with another thought to ponder. Our 40 weeks start with an unfertilized egg. In the first two weeks, fertilization has not yet taken place. Still, this unfertilized egg is counted as part of the pregnancy. This is more proof that God knows a person before fertilization even happens, and counts the egg as life. God also looks at the male seed in a similar way. Multitudes of times in the Bible, God addresses the seed as though it is already human life.
So next time there is a positive sign on the test in front of you, know that these next 40 weeks are to prepare and nurture your baby, as well as to declare God’s plan for mankind. How blessed you are to reveal some of His glory. Your pregnancy shows everyone who has eyes to see that there is a great and infinite Creator who has stamped His signature on all that He has made. Everything God does has meaning and purpose. All of His works were and are done in the right order and in the right number. “He counts the number of the stars… He brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name… He establishes a weight for the wind, and weighs the waters by measure.” (6)
Primm Springs, Tennessee, USA
 Psalm 18:30, 2 Isaiah 40:12, 3 Psalm 77:12, 4 Deuteronomy 30:19, 5 Psalm 90:10; 6 Psalm 147:4, Isaiah 40:26; Job 28:25
* For your interest, here are a few other numbers and their meanings: 5 = grace, 6 = man, 7 = spiritual perfection, 8 = new beginnings, 10 = law or ordinal perfection as in the Ten Commandments, 12 = governmental perfection as in 12 tribes, 12 apostles, etc.
As I read Pearl’s article I am reminded of Hosea 9:11 where God pronounces judgment upon Ephraim. He says that because of their sin He will take away their glory. And what is their glory? “Birth… pregnancy, and conception.” Isn’t it amazing that God calls birth and motherhood the glory of the nation?
I also think of Isaiah 8:18 where God refers to children as “signs and wonders”. It is an amazing wonder how God creates a new life in the womb and then brings the baby safely forth at birth. Truly each new child is a sign and a wonder. They are born to declare the glory of God – His love, His truth and His salvation in the earth. Nancy.