Today’s reading includes Numbers 26:1-51, Luke 2:36-52, Psalm 60:1-12, Proverbs 11:15.
In today’s reading we see more evidence of why this book of the Bible was named Numbers. After the plague, the warriors were numbered once again, according to tribe. Lots of names and lots of numbers. I am sure we could take any of the names from any of the tribes and after studying it out, find something interesting. But today, only one verse caught my attention. It was found in the listing of the tribe of Asher. Who was Asher? He was Jacob’s eighth son, and the second of Jacob’s two sons by Zilpah, Leah’s maid. The other son by Zilpah was Gad. His name means “happy, fortunate, blessed”.
12 Then Zilpah gave Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah named him Asher,[e] for she said, “What joy is mine! Now the other women will celebrate with me.”
When Jacob blessed his sons with a prophetic blessing in Genesis 49, Jacob declared words of good fortune and that “Asher will dine on rich foods and produce food fit for kings.” Indeed, the descendants of Asher did grow and increase in number and power. In the two censuses found in the book of Numbers, the tribe of Asher grew from 41,500 to 53,400 adult males. An interesting, but probably insignificant fact to note: When the combined numbers of Asher’s warriors are combined, the total is 12, God’s holy number representing His family and His covenant.
Later, we see that they accomplished great things and failed at some, too. But in the end, the tribe of Asher, along with the others of the 12 tribes of Israel, is promised the Seal of God for 12,000 of their members in the book of Revelation.
Asher seemed to have a special blessing in his life and in his lineage. It was found in Numbers 26:46.
46 Asher also had a daughter named Serah.
Out of all the names listed in all the tribes, this is the only name of a woman. Her name meant “princess” and was a derivative of the name Sarah or Sarai.
Why was Serah so important to be listed among the warriors of the tribes of the Lord’s family? The truth is, we don’t know much. But she is listed as one of the 70 members of Jacob’s family who went to Egypt. The fact that she is the only woman listed in the genealogical lists indicates that there was something powerful, courageous, or extraordinary about her personal history. Many Jewish legends were created with Serah being the heroine. As far as what we know through scripture, her name pops up several times, possibly over a period of two hundred years, thus the Jewish describe her as the oldest ancient woman.
But with all this vague information, what can we learn from Serah? What can we learn from the fact that her name was listed as a place of honor, but without detail? When I began to think about it, what popped in my head was this scripture:
19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
We can do many mighty and important things. We actually have been given the power and authority through the Holy Spirit to have great victories in our lives. But recording our strength, even our victories, is not what is important. The fact that our names are written and recorded in heaven is where our great significance lies. And we could not have that greatest victory if it had not been given to us as a gift from Jesus.
The important thing is not that others see what great things we do, but that God sees what we do. Though others may not see, God sees every secret, righteous thought, word, deed, and prayer.
We have an audience of One and any good we have in character or action is from Him and for Him. The greatest things we do, most people will never see nor know about nor record for posterity’s sake. But God sees and God knows and He records our names in the Lamb’s book of Life.
3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.