Heavenly Headcount

Appleton, WI

Today’s Devotion: Numbers 26

This is the beginning of a new section of the Book of Numbers and my bible labels this chapter as census and rules. The new generation is preparing to enter the land. The remainder of the Book of Numbers is about this preparation.

When I drive by those signs that tell us what the population is, I’m always fascinated by that number. I know it this the population that was recorded according to our latest census, but counting every adult on the planet is no easy task and it’s constantly changing. There is a small town that we pass through when we go to my in-laws house that reads population = 23. After all the years of driving past that sign and through that little town, I have often thought about going around to introduce myself to those 23 people and asking them what it means to them to be so significant? 23 is such a small number, but the fact that they live there and their population sign records it tells me that every one of them matters. In the sign above, I matter… I’m one of 70, 078!

I know, I have too much time on my hands, but truth is… someone took the time to count and tax payer dollars were spent to publish that number on their sign. So why does it matter? It matters because we matter to God.

Numbers 26:51 says, “The total number of the men of Israel was 601,730.” The census determined that number. Sad thing is, that throughout the book of Numbers we lost a lot of people to sin, selfishness, greed, impatience, complaining and discontentment. The number is actually 1,800 few than the previous census that was taken back in Leviticus.

So here’s the deal, or at least my interpretation of what God is telling us today. You matter. We matter. We, collectively, make up mankind. God created us; every man, woman and child. This is our life to live, but we are His people called to live according to His purpose and plan. New Year’s Day was yesterday and many of us are going out in the world today (back to work, school, regular routine) with the intentions of being better people that we were last year or even a day ago. This is great, but we need to keep our focus on God, not ourselves. What is His plan to fulfill through us, what is He going to do to transform your heart this year and how can you most effectively do that? As we represent one human being in the headcount of believers, let’s exercise our significance and get out there and matter… For Christ’s sake.

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