Numbers, Lying Indicators of Our Significance

1 Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number.” 3 Joab said, “May the Lord add to His people a hundred times as many as they are! But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord seek this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?” 4 Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore, Joab departed and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. 1 Chronicles 21:1-4 (NASB)

“Actually, God permitted Satan to prompt David to take a census of the people, and David insisted on doing it, contrary to Joab’s advice…Though not inherently wrong, the action demonstrated David’s reliance on numbers of warriors rather than on God….” Ryrie Study Bible, p. 635

God hates it when we measure our significance or power with numbers. The number of people we have in our lives should not make us, just like David, think that our strength, power or popularity depends on them.

The sad truth in this computer age is that we tend to get depressed when the things we post on social media get ignored or don’t get follows, likes and comments. We feel unimportant. We tend to compare ourselves with others and according to Paul, that’s not wise.

Admittedly or not, we also tend to feel famous because of the number of followers we have on our social media accounts. That’s human nature.

Looking at the verse we have today, we can learn that God wants us to fix our eyes on the fact that He is the Sole Source of our Strength in every accomplishment we have and we will have. He wants to remind us that numbers are lying indicators of our significance! We are important to Him because He loves us (John 3:16). He thinks about us. (Psalm 8:4-8) It was demonstrated when He sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay for the penalty of our sins in hell.

How do you measure your significance? Is God’s love your gauge of significance?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your reminders. Thank You for your thoughtfulness of our daily welfare. Forgive us when we forget that fact. May we not lose our focus on You as the only source of our daily strength. Deliver us from the deceit that numbers indicate our significance. Thank You for Your love. In Jesus’ name, we pray Amen!


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