by Kevin Burton
“Do the math” is a favorite saying of mine. When God does the math it always comes out right.
The Bible teaches that God created all things and that He did not create them willy-nilly.
Welcome to the fourth-period math class at the Earthly School for the Spiritually Blind (ESSB).
The things that God created and that He instructed man to create, were fashioned with precision and exactitude.
Check out Noah’s building of the ark (Genesis 6), Solomon’s building of the temple (I Kings 6). For exact measurements of the new Jerusalem, turn to Revelation 21.
In Matthew 1:17 we see precise patterns in the lineage of man. “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.”
According to Matt. 10:30 even the hairs of your head are numbered.
In the book of Judges, this same numbers-crunching God was directing events to deliver Israel from an oppressor, the Midianites. As the story unfolds, remember God was in full command of his math skills at all times.
I encourage you to read Judges chapters six and seven on your own. I will leave out some really good stuff here for the sake of brevity.
The Lord chose Gideon to deliver Israel. Gideon thought he wasn’t up to the task, but the Lord said “Surely I will be with you” (Judges 6:16). Gideon asked for and got some further assurances from God that yes Gideon, you are the man for this mission.
In chapter 7. Israel has gathered at the border for the fight, 32,000 strong. God says to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’” (Judges 7:2 NKJV).
God tells Gideon to send those who are afraid home from the battle. Boom! Just like that The Israeli army is down to 10,000 men.
Still too many, God said. And now we get down to a matter of etiquette. The Lord had Gideon take the 10,000 men to the river to get a drink of water for a little test.
God told Gideon, “‘Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.’ And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water.”
“’Then the Lord said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place’” (Judges 7: 5-7 NKJV).
Are you kidding me, 300 men? Looking only at the physical world that one is exceedingly hard to believe.
Knowing this, God was gracious enough to provide Gideon yet another sign. He allowed Gideon to overhear the Midianites talking about a dream.
“I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.”
“Then his companion answered and said, ‘This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp.’”
“And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand” (Judges 7:13-15 NKJV).
Again, read the whole story. The 300 men divided into three companies, blew trumpets and broke water pitchers, not your typical military strategy. But with God directing events, the Midianites panicked and basically destroyed themselves.
Want more evidence? How about loaves and fishes? Twice in the gospel accounts, Jesus turns a small number of bread loaves and fish, into a meal that fed thousands of people with plenty of leftovers gathered at the end of the meal (Matt. chapters 14 and 15, Mark 6 and 8, Luke 9, John 6).
Class notes, fourth period, mathematics: God’s will and power superseded statistical probabilities when 300 Israeli soldiers defeated a fierce Midianite army. As with the hairs on your head that are numbered, the point isn’t the number, but the God who is sovereign and controls events.
One for the spiritual road: “Jesus and me, we are a majority,” is a song lyric and a truth.