Prayer for the day
O LORD, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. Make haste to help me, O Lord of my salvation.
Scripture for the day
The Bible. It’s nearly Dan Brown-esque in its love of numbers and their significance. In the First Testament passage for today, the Israelites take a census to figure out exactly how many of them there are, and they are separated into their various tribes. While this enumeration is partly to determine the fighting strength of Israel before their entrance into the promised land, it also serves as an example of the largess and the goodness of Israel’s God. Not only did God save people from the land of Egypt, but He moved an enormous amount of people out of the land of Egypt. If the numbers are correct and our translation into English is correct, we’re looking at more than 600,000 men. That doesn’t include young me, women, and children. That’s well over 1.5 million. That’s a lot of people.
Regardless of the accuracy of counting and translation, it’s safe to say that we have a massive group of people. That many people, and animals, and children, certainly would strain both the land and the surrounding nations. And yet God proves His ability to provide for an incredible crowd. And He does so graciously and gloriously.
Yet the numbering of the tribes is not the last time these numbers will be important. God chooses 12 tribes to be His hands and feet in the world, to spread His goodness to the nations and to exemplify His grace. In the Second Testament, it is no mistake that Jesus chooses twelve men to accomplish the same task. We are supposed to draw the conclusion that there is something unique and special about these men, and that something is that they represent the tribes that were once counted by Moses and counted on by God to accomplish His purpose.
The second twelve will have the same job as the first twelve, and they will accomplish an incredible amount, for being only twelve.
Thank God for His glorious provision. He can use enormous numbers or small to accomplish enormous things.