“The silver from those of the congregation who were recorded was 100 talents and 1,775 shekels, by the shekel of the sanctuary. Twenty six beka a head, that is half a shekel by the shekel of the sanctuary for everyone who was listed in the records from 20 years old and upward for 603,550 men.”
Now you’re hearing that and you’re thinking, I’m guessing, what in the world do we get out of that? Like shekels and talents and a beka a head and half a shekel and 603,550, but that’s just it. So that last part, and I was reading this, it just hit me in a fresh way, like 603,550, like God knew down to the individual, the number of men here. And in the same way he knew the number of women and the number of children. God knows all the details here, like every one of those 603,550 people is important to him, is significant in his eyes, so it’s not just generalities.
We often feel as if we are merely a number in a massive world, but by God’s grace we are known and loved by Him.
The Bible could have said for hundreds of thousands of men, this ambiguous, even over 600,000 men. Instead, it gives the exact number and that struck me because I am … I’m tempted to think more general in numbers.
Like, I talk a lot about how there’s 2.8 billion people in the world who have little to no knowledge of the Gospel. They’re unreached by the Gospel, so I throw out a number like that, 2.8 billion people, but then I don’t sometimes step back and realize that’s 2.8 billion individuals. In fact, God knows the exact number of individuals like that. He doesn’t think in generalities like that. God knows every single person in the world who right now has no access to the Gospel. It just causes me to realize in a fresh way that every individual is important to God and the ramifications of that are huge.
Like on a personal level, I am … You are significant to God. Like he doesn’t just know 7.2 or 3 billion people in the world right now on the planet. Like yes, he knows all of them, but he knows me. He knows you. You count. He knows what’s going on in your life. He knows the details that are going on in your life. God is not unaware of that. Like sure, he’s overseeing nations and wars and the movement of peoples and he’s upholding Mars and an entire universe.
But he knows the details of your life, and he cares about you. And not just about you and me, but he cares about the individual people around us. So it’s not just lost people around us, so to speak, in some vague, ambiguous way. It’s individuals who right now are separated from him that he loves, that he calls us to love as he loves.
So we pray, God, help us to realize how personal your love is for us. Your care is for us. We praise you that we count before you, that we’re not just lost in a sea of humanity and a mass of numbers, that you are intimately aware of everything that’s going on in our lives and involved in it, that you are a personal God.
Oh, we praise you God, for your personal love for us. Just think about Paul in Galatians 2:20. Jesus died for me. Yes. Thank you God, for your love for me. Pray that others would just … Others who are listening to this right now but just know that personal nature of your love and at the same time, God, that you would help others, me, God, to help us to love others that way. Help us not just to see people in a kind of vague, ambiguous way, but God, help us to see individual lives.
Help us to get to know individual people and not just kind of cursory knowledge, but really finding out what’s going on in their lives, caring for them, praying for them, serving them, being a friend to them, a support for them. God help us to reflect your personal love for others the same way that you love us, so personally, help us to love others personally like that certainly in our home and our families and our churches, help us not to have just kind of casual surface relationships but help us to have real relationships where we love people deeply and personally and then God, for people in our community, be able to work around us.
God, help us not to be content with just surface friendships, acquaintances help us, we pray, to invest deeply, personally in people’s lives around us that they might grow in Christ. If they’re followers of Christ, that they might come to Christ and ultimately they might know your personal love for them through our relationship with them. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
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