Have you ever wondered, "Why is there such a focus on numbers in the book of Numbers? Why so many figures and stats? In fact, why does the Bible contain so many records of how many people were in this group or that group?" Let me answer that question with a story.
When I was in elementary school and we would go on school field trips, I can remember walking onto the bus to go back to school. My teacher would always put her hand on my head and count a number. In fact, she would do that with every student. It's because my teacher wanted to make sure she didn't lose a single student on the trip. Like a shepherd, she wanted to make sure all her sheep were with her. That's why she counted. We count what is important to us.
Don't ever be fooled by those who say "God is not interested in numbers". If God wasn't interested in numbers, He wouldn't have named an entire book in the Bible "Numbers"! More seriously, if God wasn't interested in numbers, He wouldn't ask Moses, Aaron and other leaders in Scripture to count and record the number of people they have been given.
Do you know why God commands Moses, Aaron and other leaders in the Bible to count the people? (For example, why did God command Moses and Aaron in Numbers 4:34-49 to count and record the number of men in each of the Kohathite, Gershonite and Merarite clans aged 30 to 50 who came to serve at the tent of meeting?) It's because you count what is important to you. For God, what is important is people. Every number represents a soul, a person that is precious to God, a life that Jesus died for, and a life God wants to use. That's why numbers are important to God, and that's also why, if we want to be good stewards of what we have, we should count what God has given us as well and pray for growth, both in quality and quantity.
Are numbers everything? Definitely not. But they are an important part of being a good and responsible steward of what God has given us. That's why God counts, and so should we.
Question: Is there an area of your life where you need to do a better job of counting and keeping good records?