Numbers don’t mean a thing

Some people in the religious world find great comfort in being a member of a church that consists of a membership with large numbers either locally or universally.

The thing about such a hope is that it misses the point that can be found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, the point being: numbers don’t mean a thing.

For example, in 2 Chronicles 18:3-7 you will find that, “…Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?” And he answered him, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will be with you in the war.” Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire for the word of the Lord today.” Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?” So they said, “Go up, for God will deliver it into the king’s hand.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not still a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of Him?” So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil. He is Micaiah the son of Imla.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say such things!”

Ahab was a man who looked to impress others with the numbers. Four hundred prophets all prophesying the same thing! Large numbers and a seemingly seamless unity across the board! Who wouldn’t be impressed with that? But Jehoshaphat wasn’t satisfied; he wanted more than four hundred voices speaking the same thing – he wanted the truth. And the source? In the shadow of Ahab’s great prophetical mountain there was one man who spoke according to the word of God, and this man’s name was Micaiah. Micaiah, as far as can be told, had no large following, he didn’t preach for a large synagogue, and he didn’t measure his success according to the numbers. Micaiah was a man who looked to impress others with the truth.

Four hundred to one doesn’t sound like very good numbers, but if you go back and look at God’s word you’ll find that God’s people were accustomed to representing the truth against those kind of odds. And this is a truth that remains consistent to this day. That’s why in the grand scheme of things, being a member of God’s 144,000 in Heaven means much more than being a member of a church made up of 144,000,000+ people here upon the Earth because numbers don’t mean a thing when it comes to finding and following the truth that can only be found by seeking the will of God through the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15).

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

#ahab, #big-numbers, #church-membership, #jehoshaphat, #micaiah, #truth