A book of the Bible that really counts
Numbers 1: Number the congregation
The book of Numbers may be the most accurately named book of the Bible. As Moses organizes these hundreds of thousands of people we read page after page of names and numbers. In fact, the Lord even gives Moses a list of the names of those who are to name the names in accomplishing this huge task. It’s all very practical and reasonable. If nothing else, Numbers reminds us that our service of the Lord isn’t all about worship services and sermons. Often there are practical things to be done: statistics to be compiled, organizational meetings to attend, and plans to be made. Such endeavors don’t “feel” very spiritual but they’re part of forming mere humans into a people of God, organized and ready to serve. Having said all that, I confess that I don’t find much devotional material in the lists of the Book of Numbers. I may fast forward through them and focus on some of the other events of this book of the Bible.
Take Away: Sometimes being a people of God includes taking care of business in addition to focusing on worship and other “spiritual” activities.
Checking the church calendar
Isaiah 1: Meetings, meetings, meetings, I can’t stand one more!
As a pastor I admit that this phrase resonates with me! In this case, though, it’s God who’s talking and he’s weary of his people going through the motions, filling their lives with meetings and other religious activity, but never simply getting about the business of righteous living. Sometimes, I think, religious activity is a cover up for spiritual failure or it may be a substitute for actually going out and making a difference in the world. There’s a time for meetings but those meetings are to move us to real living in the Lord. I fear that we church folk attend a committee meeting and think we’ve done what Jesus intended we do. In some cases, we’d be better off to drop the meeting and get out into the real world, making a difference in people’s lives for Christ’s sake.
Take Away: Remember, Jesus told us to “go and make disciples” – not “go and have meetings.”