What strikes me in the Old Testament is the theme found NUMEROUS times in the scriptures: that God counts (and knows) His people AND God counts ON His people.
Numbers Numbers, why does God love Numbers so much? Perhaps He stays up counting His children like sheep. Oh that’s right, God doesn’t sleep, He counts His sheep because He cares that much about His sheep. HE DOES!
I LOVE numbers too, just for fun, and often we use numbers to describe things – knowing the numbers in our bank accounts help us to decide about purchases – knowing the numbers as odds helps us look at risks of medical procedures or predicting if it is going to rain. Numbers describe things but the numbers themselves are not the actual things we care about. God does not see us as a number but a soul. We may want to number our days and make the most of each of them but in the end, what DOES matter is that TO God, WE matter!
In the book of Numbers, God instructs Moses to have a census taken, it describes hierarchies of families, gathers and then counts individuals and clans. God’s people were to gather as units in certain locations and be counted – they always were to be known as His people.
The Lord spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army. One man from each tribe, each of them the head of his family, is to help you.”
And God pre-knew and KNOWS His people TODAY – YES YOU AND ME. God knows us so much that He knows and counts EVERY HAIR ON OUR HEADS, on each and everyone’s heads – ALL PEOPLE. That concept completely blows my mind. I cannot wrap my head around knowing every person let alone every hair. And the hairs are counted and numbered? Wow. And how about we lose a few strands of hair all the time, every day that we don’t mind – BUT how INTENSELY the Lord minds about us, how He works to track and hold onto His children.
Jesus taught: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
I love and track both my grown children, from when they were in the womb to now (mostly) grown up, but I still can’t rest until I rest assured that I know (roughly) where they are – at school or work or anywhere – and yes how restful it is for me when I know they are home safe. Ahhh, the peace of them being asleep in the quiet of my mornings. Ahhh, the quiet in the mornings for all of us when there is peace (or the pursuit of peace) for this is when the Lord can find you to talk. God knows ALL His children like that, WOW! God wants to talk. God, in charge of numbers, however really does NOT want us to run our lives by the numbers, but walk by the book, His Book, Him.
God wants us to number our days and God also counts ON His children to know they are His and part of His team. Jesus stated: “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Luke 12:8-10
So what is God counting and taking account of? Counting you among the saved and therefore asking you to help plant seeds for more to be counted among the saved. See, God knows the number of people now and then, of course, but He had the census by Moses taken anyway, prepared His people for organization. Perhaps we must think in these terms again today – to guage who is Saved and not saved and if we know/knew how MANY souls there were to be paid attention to, that we would work with Him. Yes He is counting on us.
One last accounting of note…. In the Numbers census, God had Moses identify the first-born – not surprising as God has a First-Born Himself, a Son, Jesus, upon whom all Judgement against us will be counted as forgiven grace because of His act of sacrifice. Jesus made the numbers count… He made the path in thru and away from the desert of death so that we would stop wandering on this earth and follow Him to the ULTIMATE Promised Land. And Yes, read ahead in Revelations 21 of how the old order passes away.
Let us follow Him, Life everlasting is promised, YOU CAN COUNT ON THAT!
Revelation 21:1- – where we learn how it is all accounted for, John writing as witness for our life everlasting:
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.