count me in or count me out?
"Afterward, however, David regretted having numbered the people, and said to the Lord: 'I have sinned grievously in what I have done.' " —2 Samuel 24:10
Do you remember how proud you were when you learned to count to ten all by yourself? Human beings love to count. This is because we are created in the image and likeness of God, and God loves to count. One of the books of the Bible is even named Numbers. From the seven days beginning the Bible to the 144,000 saved at the end of the Bible, we see revealed God, the Accountant. God is even said to count the hairs on our heads (Mt 10:30) and the number of tears we shed (Ps 56:9).
However, because our nature is fallen, our counting can be fallen. For example, David ordered a census and counted the men fit for military service (2 Sm 24:2ff). David did this against God's will. The Lord had always told His people they would be victorious even if they were outnumbered (e.g. Lv 26:8; Jgs 7:7; 1 Mc 3:18-19; 1 Sm 14:6). So why count the troops? Didn't David believe God? Like David, we can sin in counting. We can count too much on money and possessions. We can count others' sins against us and be unforgiving (cf 1 Cor 13:5). We can count ourselves better than others (cf Phil 2:4). We must resist these temptations to count sinfully and repent if we have sinned in these areas.
The main thing is that we can count on God, and we want Him to be able to count on us. Count in the Lord.
Prayer: Father, You can count on me no matter what.
Promise: "Happy is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered." —Ps 32:1
Praise: When his wife became permanently bed-ridden, Alfred counted his blessings and was as loving a husband as ever.
Reference: (Presentation Ministries' Discipleship Retreat, Living in Reality, will be held Feb. 13-14, 2004 at St. Leo's Church in Cincinnati, OH. For information or to register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003