Question: “So he was there with the LORD 40 days and 40 nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the 10 commandments” (Exodus:34:28). It would seem from this verse of Scripture that none of your staff had read the Bible. If Jesus could not exist without water for 40 days, how come Moses could? “For this one has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who built the house has more honor than the house” (Hebrews:3:3). Please answer this question in your next edition. [This question/reproof was in response to my admission in the June Q&A that I had erred in saying Jesus was 40 days in the wilderness without food or water; and thanking the person who, as a good Berean, brought that error to my attention.]
Response: Your letter exemplifies two things so easy to fall into and to which we are all prone and from which we at TBC pray the Lord will preserve us in the ministry He has given us: (1) misunderstanding the point being made; and (2) resorting to sarcasm.
First, the question was not whether Jesus could have gone without water for 40 days but whether the Bible says so. Of course, He could have. The person who brought this error to my attention said that would have been a miracle, and indeed it would have been. And we believe in miracles. The fact is, however, that although the Bible clearly says that Moses was without water as well as without food for the 40 days on the mount, it does not say that about Jesus, but only that He was without food. Therefore, I was wrong in saying He spent 40 days without water as well as without food. We dare not go beyond what the Scripture clearly teaches.
Secondly, I’m sure you didn’t really mean that none of the TBC staff has ever read the Bible. Yet it is so easy to fall prey to the temptation to minister a sarcastic jab in the process of bringing correction. We are all susceptible to such a pitfall and I pray the Lord will keep us all gracious as well as truthful.