These chapters in Numbers are about family. Moses was counting the men from each family because God was preparing them to receive their portion of the Promised Land.
Reading this certainly has me thinking about my family. I like being one of the “Zehner girls.” I am blessed to have been born into this particular family, even with all our imperfections. We were raised by parents who loved each other, and us. And we were encouraged to love the Lord.
However, the generations of Zehners before us were people who largely ignored God. Alcoholics, unfaithful spouses, kids from the wrong side of the tracks. So when a Zehner married a Kindinger, that ball stopped rolling.
Yes, I was blessed to be a part of this family, and my sisters and their children continue to be a blessing to me all these years later. But not everyone reading this blog has had the same experience as me. Some of you have been wounded by your family, and wear the scars of neglect and abuse.
So did my Dad. But I thank God he made different choices than other members of his family. So can you.
I worshiped this morning with people I love, none of whom is remotely related to a Zehner. I walked through those doors and was greeted by people glad to see me. I made it a point to say Hi to someone I hadn’t seen in a few weeks. And it was my pleasure to invite a woman visiting for the first time to sit with me. I sat there and shared the Lord’s Table with these dear people, sang hymns and songs of worship together with them, drank in the message about Jesus’ last days on this earth.
Here’s the thing. All of us, no matter to what family we were born, have an opportunity to belong to a family of believers. I hope you are a part of such a fellowship, loving and serving and worshiping and caring for each other.
Family is important in the Bible. Moses was preparing the people to enter the Promised Land. But they weren’t going solo. They were going together with their families.
I would encourage you to cherish those people in your home. And if you find yourself alone, I pray you will find a Bible believing fellowship where you can develop close relationships. Yes, we who know Christ as our Savior are members of the Church, the Kingdom of God. Everyone Moses counted that day were members of the Jewish nation, the children of God.
But they each had a smaller, more intimate identity, too. It’s called family.
I’m praying for yours.
Father, Thank you for coming up with the idea of “family.” Thank you for Bob and Ginny, Peggy, Kathy, Nancy, and Sally, my family. Such good memories. Such blessings yet today. Thank you for nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, all of whom I am privileged to love. And I thank you for my two church families. Bless those dear ones at Bellville Baptist Church in Ohio. Bless the Frederica Baptist Church family in Georgia. I love being a part of both of these fellowships of believers. I pray for those reading this blog who have been hurt by family members. I pray for those who have been hurt by church family members. God, I pray that you would heal and encourage each one. And, God, I pray that we all will find that family connection within our church walls. We want to enter that Promised Land shoulder to shoulder with people who love us, and who we love. And thank You for being the best Father ever. Above all, I love being Your child.