Devotional: July 1, 2020
God spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai at the Tent of Meeting on the first day of the second month in the second year after they had left Egypt. He said, “Number the congregation of the People of Israel by clans and families, writing down the names of every male. You and Aaron are to register, company by company, every man who is twenty years and older who is able to fight in the army. Pick one man from each tribe who is the head of his family to help you. These are the names of the men who will help you:
from Reuben: Elizur son of Shedeur
from Simeon: Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai
from Judah: Nahshon son of Amminadab
from Issachar: Nethanel son of Zuar
from Zebulun: Eliab son of Helon
from the sons of Joseph,
from Ephraim: Elishama son of Ammihud
from Manasseh: Gamaliel son of Pedahzur
from Benjamin: Abidan son of Gideoni
from Dan: Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai
from Asher: Pagiel son of Ocran
from Gad: Eliasaph son of Deuel
from Naphtali: Ahira son of Enan.”
Number 1: 1-15 The Message
The biblical book of Numbers is appropriately named. It is a book filled with lists: lists of names, and lists of numbers. Even inventories of certain elaborate offerings are included in the book.
The Book of Numbers is largely ignored when people are thinking about their favorite book of the bible. There is a reason for this fact: lists never seem all that important. That is, until you need a list! Then, it becomes very important. Witness the all-important grocery list!
The truth is that numbers and lists do matter. After all, that is part of the reason why every ten years, our government tries to count everyone living in our country. The Census’s resulting numbers influence important policy decisions, and even the distribution of seats in the United States House of Representatives. (PSA, if you haven’t filled out your Census form yet - please do so).
A couple of years ago when Jeana and I were in Vienna, we toured one of Mozart’s homes. Oddly enough, it was not furnished, as the furnishing had long ago been sold off for various reasons. However, a list had been made of all the items in the house at the time of his death. This list has proven to be invaluable to historians, as they continue to try to re-construct a fuller picture of his life as composer.
Although the book of Numbers may seem less important than other books in the bible, it reminds us that every single person is important to the Lord. After all, the Bible promises that all of us who have our names inscribed in the Book of Life will one day enjoy life in heaven with the Lord himself. That is one list where I am happy to have my name included!
You matter to God, Hallelujah!
Lord, you are the God of every detail, right down to the hairs upon our head. Thank you that you care enough about us to yearn to have us join you in your heavenly home. Help us as we grow in you, and aspire to have our name in your book of Glory.
We pray this prayer in your most Holy Name. Amen