By: Katie Choi
“Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one.” Numbers 1:2
Sometimes, I find myself questioning if God cares about the small details of my life. Do you ever find yourself in a similar situation? For instance, do you think God cares about the small moments of your day like when you are brushing your teeth or stressed out about your schedule or to-do list? For me, my head knows the answer is yes, that God does care, but my heart sometimes has a hard time believing that. I am a really detail oriented sort of gal so I can get caught up in the little things. Knowing and reading examples that God cares about the details is so comforting to me. It can help give meaning to the minuteness of life, and it can make me feel more known.
Recently, our team read through the book of Numbers together. Numbers isn’t always on the list of Top 5 favorite books of the bible because it’s in the Old Testament, it’s pretty long, and there are some tough stories in there because those Israelites just couldn’t seem to get it together! (Wish I could relate…kidding…come back another time to read my blog post on all my shortcomings…it will be a 10,000 page novel so hope you have some free time J.) But, I was so glad to have taken the time and have some accountability to read through it. Numbers is said to have taken place during the time the Israelites were wandering in the desert, after the escape from Egypt and before they reach the Promised Land. Moses was in charge, and God was instructing him to get some things and customs in order. There were a lot of people, and God used Moses to provide some structure and discipline to the group.
The book starts off with God asking Moses to take a census of all the people. My mind was blown to know that we aren’t talking a few hundred people here, but upwards of hundreds of thousands of folks. That’s a whole, whole lot, and this census was taken during a time where there wasn’t much technology to help these people out. Numbers 1:46 reads, “The total number was 603,550”. This number wasn’t rounded up or down; God cared about what that precise number. Many of us may be familiar with the verse in Luke that talks about the hairs on our head being numbered. I have heard that verse many times, but this census in Numbers really hit me in a different, practical way. Sometimes my job can be pretty administrative so I could picture myself being in that role of helping to count people back then. God instructed them to perform that task and they did so faithfully. Again, that brings me such great comfort because I sometimes think that my work doesn’t matter. That the little things don’t matter. But they matter to God. They mattered back in the days of the Israelites, and they matter today.