Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 3, 2014

What is your number?

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers Chapter 1.  Here is a link to this Scripture –

I quote the following verses.

“1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ households, according to the number of names, every male, head by head 3 from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by their armies.  4 With you, moreover, there shall be a man of each tribe, each one head of his father’s household.  …

44 These are the ones who were numbered, whom Moses and Aaron numbered, with the leaders of Israel, twelve men, each of whom was of his father’s household.  45 So all the numbered men of the sons of Israel by their fathers’ households, from twenty years old and upward, whoever was able to go out to war in Israel, 46 even all the numbered men were 603,550.

47 The Levites, however, were not numbered among them by their fathers’ tribe.  48 For the Lord had spoken to Moses, saying, 49 “Only the tribe of Levi you shall not number, nor shall you take their census among the sons of Israel.  50 But you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the testimony, and over all its furnishings and over all that belongs to it.  They shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings, and they shall take care of it; they shall also camp around the tabernacle.  51 So when the tabernacle is to set out, the Levites shall take it down;  and when the tabernacle encamps, the Levites shall set it up.  But the layman who comes near shall be put to death. 52 The sons of Israel shall camp, each man by his own camp, and each man by his own standard, according to their armies.  53 But the Levites shall camp around the tabernacle of the testimony, so that there will be no wrath on the congregation of the sons of Israel.  So the Levites shall keep charge of the tabernacle of the testimony.”  54 Thus the sons of Israel did;  according to all which the Lord had commanded Moses, so they did.”  Numbers Chapter 1:  Verses 1-4 and 44-54.


“What is your number?” asks financial institutions on TV peddling their retirement investment programs.

Number can refer to the total amount of dollars needed for retirement.  Number can refer to credit score needed to get a loan or a preferable interest rate.  Number can refer to SAT score needed to get into a particular college.  Number can refer to the total number of soldiers needed to win a battle.  Numbers are important.  In a sense, they are a measure of man.

But, the highest number is not always best.  More important than the measure of man is the infinite measure of God.  To be chosen by God is more important than to be more numerous or better than most.

“The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;  but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them;  He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face.  Therefore, you shall keep the commandment and the statutes and the judgments which I am commanding you today, to do them.”  Deuteronomy 7:7-11.

“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God;  the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”    Deuteronomy 7:6.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God;  you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  1 Peter 2:9-10.

Our number may be low.  But, God still chose us.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

In fact, our number is real low.  Reformed Doctrine teaches us that our number is zero through “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

But, there is hope!

God provides all that we need from “Unconditional Election” to “Limited Atonement” to “Irresistible Grace” to “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.



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