Wednesday, June 23, 2010


“These are the names of the men who are to assist you.” (Numbers 1:5)

The Lord told Moses and Aaron to take a census of Israel to register all the men 20 years old or more, those who could serve in the army. The Lord then specified by name all the leaders of the tribes of Israel who were to assist. Moses and Aaron did exactly as the Lord commanded and registered a total of 603,550 men.

We see two lessons of intrinsic spiritual value here, though they may not be all that apparent.

First, why would God call for a census when He already knew what the number was? Obviously, it had to have something to do with Israel’s need, not His. Did He just want them to see what a huge army was possible among them? Was He trying to instill confidence in them? Maybe. A better understanding is that God wanted them to see just how much He had blessed them. They were 70 in number when they arrived in Egypt. Some 430 years later they were 603,550 men, not including the women and children. This was in spite of the decimation of their numbers from the killing of infants at Pharaoh’s orders, despite the suffering, affliction, and death due to their slavery in Egypt. God had taken their original number and grown it to as many as 3 million. That is a testimony to God’s sovereignty, and maybe that is what He wanted them to see.

Second, God mentioned all the leaders of Israel’s tribes by name. That means He knew each of their names. Personally. And it further means that he knows your name. Personally. The God who is God of the many is also God of the one. He knows you.

The point of both lessons is inescapable: God is trustworthy. That is what He wanted them to know. It is what He wants us to know today.

Lord, We recognize Your trustworthiness, and in trust we follow You. Amen.

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