The Book of Numbers | Chapter 1
1 The LORD spoke to Moses in the Tent of Meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: 2 "Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. 3 You and Aaron are to number by their divisions all the men in Israel twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army… 17 Moses and Aaron took these men whose names had been given, 18 and they called the whole community together on the first day of the second month. The people indicated their ancestry by their clans and families, and the men twenty years old or more were listed by name, one by one, 19 as the LORD commanded Moses. And so he counted them in the Desert of Sinai… 44 These were the men counted by Moses and Aaron and the twelve leaders of Israel, each one representing his family. 45 All the Israelites twenty years old or more who were able to serve in Israel's army were counted according to their families. 46 The total number was 603,550.
Census = Commitment
To be willing to be counted in the census is to make a covenant commitment. Covenant is free but faith is costly.
“The people indicated their ancestry by their clans and families…” - v18b
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: "The Israelites are to camp around the Tent of Meeting some distance from it, each man under his standard with the banners of his family.” - Numbers 2:1-2
Story of a 4th Century Egyptian Soldier named Pachomius
”To save souls, you must bring them together.”
No Church, No Christian
"Our Christian identity is belonging to a people: the Church. Without this, we are not Christians. We entered the Church through baptism: there we are Christians,” Francis goes onto say, “…a Christian without the Church is incomprehensible. It is a thing of the laboratory, an artificial thing, a thing that cannot give life…” - Pope Francis
Who was Expected to Serve in the Army of God?
You and Aaron are to number by their divisions all the men in Israel twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army… - v3
A. All the Men Twenty Years Old or More Served in the Army (No age cap!)
B. A Mixed Multitude Served in the Army (Foreigners who escaped Egypt with them!)
“…about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children.A mixed multitude also went up with them… at the end of four hundred and thirty years, to the very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” - Exodus 12:37-41
Not all credit Ekko as their "birthplace" of spiritual conversion, however, you are here now aren't you? By your own choice. It's time to plug in, get rooted, and be counted!
C. Everyone who was “Able”. But the question is not “ability”, but “willingness”.
Remember the Rich Young Ruler?
He was “able” but he wasn’t “willing”. Becoming “able” isn’t the only key to being counted, it’s becoming “willing” that counts. He saw himself as a plant to be nurtured rather than a seed to be offered.
When asked, "What distinguishes a good leader from a mediocre or bad leader?” Jocko Willink, author of Extreme Ownership: How US Navy SEALS Lead and Win comments, "My immediate answer is humility. You have to be humble and coachable. We would fire a couple of leaders from every SEAL team because they couldn't lead. 99.9%, it wasn't a question of their ability, but their ability to listen…” - Jocko’s Interview on The Tim Ferriss Show
Perception is Everything: Is Your Life a Seed or a Flower?
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. - John 12:24-26
All great Christians we admire saw themselves as a Seed rather than a Flower to Protect
To be Counted - “Don’t protect your life, plant your life!”
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” - Galatians 2:20