44 These were the men counted by Moses and Aaron and the twelve leaders of Israel, each one representing his family. 45 All the Israelites twenty years old or more who were able to serve in Israel’s army were counted according to their families. 46 The total number was 603,550. 47 The ancestral tribe of the Levites, however, was not counted along with the others. 48 The Lord had said to Moses: 49 “You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites — Numbers 1:44-49 NIV
When reading the Bible, I always find Numbers a hard book to get through and not just because of the names that are hard to pronounce but also because of all the numbers. But the upside of Numbers for me is that when I need encouragement about how big my God is, I can read a few verses from Numbers and realize how great and majestic my God is. The number above, 603,550, is a fact and it does not include the tribe of the Levites or any women. It does not include any males less than twenty or older than 50/60. So, it is very easy to see that there was well over a million people on this camping trip. Some estimates go as high as 3,500,000. Even if we take the low end, just imagine the logistics, the materials and the food supplies needed for the journey. Imagine taking all the population of Albuquerque, NM and leading them on foot through the desert past Gallup, NM. You have got to lead them, feed them and keep them clothed. If my God can do this and He did, then He can take care of me. It is puzzling to me that I can trust God with my soul for eternity but not for tomorrow’s lunch. So, once aain, I must make the same request the apostles made:
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” — Luke 17:5 NIV
And He is always faithful to do exactly that!