I Count

I mean that literally. In preparation for our launch to Thailand, I have taken a temporary job as an enumerator with the U.S. Census Bureau. As census data is gathered for every individual residing in the United States, I can also say, “I have been counted.”

The framers of the constitution didn’t originate the idea of counting people. “Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai . . . in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt saying: ‘Take a census of Israel. . . .’” (Num. 1:1, 2). Toward the end of the 40 years of wilderness wandering, a second census was called. “The LORD spoke to Moses and Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying, ‘Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel. . . .’”

(Num. 26:2). The numbering of the people testified to a great Redeemer who delivered and then protected His people.

King David sought to number the people in his day, but not for God’s glory. Instead it was a way to keep God out of the equation—How many people can I rely on to bring me victory over my enemies? He was justly reproved.

In the days of Caesar Augustus, a census was called that led Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem where our Lord was born. “She wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7 BSB).

My favorite Bible census is in Revelation where John says, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”

Through the grace of God, both you and we and many from southern Thailand will be counted in that innumerable throng.

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