Numbers (1 Samuel 14:6)

Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the LORD will work for us, for the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few.”

1 Samuel 14:6

Sometimes I get wrong-headed about how God works. I sometimes think that He needs or wants numbers and find myself a bit depressed when the numbers aren’t there. Were I as attentive to my Bible as I ought to be, then I would remember that God has a history of saving by as few as possible.

Jonathan, Saul’s son, sneaks over to the outskirts of the Philistine camp and takes his armor-bearer with him. He stops to set the conditions of how they will know whether or not God is going to give victory and reminds his armor bearer, possibly himself, and definitely me that the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few. Numbers aren’t God’s thing. It’s not that He is unconcerned with how many of a certain type of person there are, but that odds; statistics; probability are of no consequence to Him. This is also not so say that He doesn’t know the odds, just that the odds are no impediment to Him accomplishing His will. Throughout The Bible, the pattern is shown to be God using underwhelming force to accomplish overwhelming victory. Abraham and his servants go through and trounce five kings and their armies just to get Lot back safely. Gideon takes 300 against over 100,000 and wins. David goes toe-to-toe with Goliath and the little shepherd is the one who walks away from that fight. Jesus conquers sin and death by dying on the cross—humanity’s greatest foes defeated by Jesus laying down His life. God consistently takes the longest odds possible and works in that space. Vegas would hate Him.

I need to remember that numbers do not limit God. If a church is small; if a ministry is miniscule; if the available servants for any particular work are few still the LORD is not restrained. God can and will accomplish whatever He has set out to accomplish through His servants so long as we step out and do what He has called us to do.

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