Jesus Thoughts …

“Take a census of the whole Israelite community by families—all those twenty years old or more …” (Numbers 26:2)

I’m not a numbers person. Maybe you’re not either. For some of us it can be hard to read a chapter full of numbers like the one in our reading for today. But God has some important lessons here for us.

First, God teaches about our need for his grace. This is the second census in Numbers because a new generation was on the scene. One generation had died in the desert because the people had not trusted God to take them into the promised land. And many from this new generation had also died recently because of Israel’s sin with Moab (Numbers 25). If you compare the numbers from one census to the other, you will see that some tribes increased and some decreased. The tribe of Simeon lost over 37,000 men — perhaps they took the brunt of God’s wrath for Israel’s adultery with Moab. Like them, we all have sinned and need God’s grace.

Second, this census shows that God is faithful. Even though one whole generation died, the total number of those counted was only about 1,800 less than in the first census. God was faithful to his promise to give Abraham numerous descendants. When we fail, we need to remember that God doesn’t. The Lord is rich in grace to all who call on him.

When it comes to numbers, a Scottish pastor, Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-43), had this advice: “For every look at [your]self, take ten looks at Christ.” What a great encouragement!

Lord, thank you for your mercy in spite of our failures. May our sins drive us to your grace. Amen.

Stay encouraged!
Pastor Mike

Devotion Archive

Devotion for October 1, 2020

"... in which was written: 'It is reported among the nations — and Geshem says it is true — that you and the Jews are ...
Read More

Devotion for September 30, 2020

"After the earthquake, a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper." (1 Kings ...
Read More

Devotion for September 29, 2020

“We saw the Nephilim there ... We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:33) Moses sent ...
Read More

Devotion for September 28, 2020

“Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” (Numbers 12:2) As we saw yesterday in Numbers 11, even ...
Read More

Devotion for September 27, 2020

"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words." (Matthew 6:7) ...
Read More

Devotion for September 26, 2020

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14) The psalmist encourages us to wait for the Lord ...
Read More

Devotion for September 25, 2020

“I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” (Numbers 11:29) It was clear to ...
Read More

Devotion for September 24, 2020

"When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, 'Moses! Moses!' And Moses said, 'Here ...
Read More

Devotion for September 23, 2020

"... through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors;" (2 Corinthians 6:8) Kelli B. Trujillo writes: "I’m not your ...
Read More

Devotion for September 22, 2020

"Now the people complained ..." (Numbers 11:1)" Complaining can seem like a favorite pastime for many of us. We complain about the weather and what ...
Read More

Devotion for September 21, 2020

"Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with ...
Read More

Devotion for September 20, 2020

“If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us.” (Numbers 10:32) After a long period of camping ...
Read More