I received a number today for a young man I’ve known since birth. It broke my heart. It was a prison number. I wept looking at the number after his name. I thought of the significance of this number and what it meant in Jail and what it will mean moving forward.
I pray he lives beyond that number. I’m praying for the number to become a memory. Praying that number which represents a mess, will become part of his message. This child I held as a baby, who grow up with my kids side by side, diverged and now he isn’t a name, he’s a number….for this season.
What are numbers? They are a symbol or word in a series for identification. For now, he will identify and be identified by this number. But God calls him still by name. God sees him as son, not number #31-68734. His family still calls him by name but where he lives, they shout out his number.
Numbers play a major role in our lives. From our chromosomes to our vertebrae to the number of bones in our hand and the muscles it takes to frown, our bodies are connected and identified by numbers. Here in the United States we are issued a Social Security number at birth that is used for a variety of purposes like taxes, insurance and education, that number defines and unlocks information we need.
Phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers are all crucial to defining our communication with each other and our wealth.
Numbers are used in the bible from the 10 Commandments to the days 40 days of the flood
and 40 days and 40 years in the wilderness and the 12 tribes of Judah…all of these events and issues defined by a number.
There is even a book with the title “Numbers” in the Bible. Ironically or perhaps not, the book of Numbers explains how Israel prepared to enter the promise land, but sinned and was punished. The title refers the two population censuses Moses took during that period.
There are four themes in Numbers. The beginning depicts the preparation for the journey to the Promised Land. The second portion talks about the Israelites travel and grumbling and how God continued to provide for them. The third portion discusses their disobedience and severe punishment for being unfaithful to God. The final theme addresses the new generation and their victorious conquests, more disobedience and finally the entry into the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the desert.
The book of Numbers recounts God’s unfailing direction in the lives of his people. It shows the ways God tested their endurance and their faithfulness. Though they sinned, God remained faithful to guide them on their journey with the pillar of fire by night and cloud by day. God never left them alone in the desert. He never ventured far from them in the wilderness.
I pray this for number #31-68734. May this wilderness experience be his NUMBERS moment. May he come to see God and feel His faithfulness and sense a new direction in his life. My prayer is that if you are experiencing a Numbers moment, you to would feel God’s presence and recalculate your destination with HIS help.
POINT TO PONDER: Are you called by a number? Are you experiencing a Numbers Moment? Call on the Name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. Struggling? Turn it over. Here’s some inspiration about God’s ability to take your Number and give you a name. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upLBLppWTj0