Here’s my embarrassing confession. The number of Facebook likes to my posts affects me. This silly barometer on the value of my work made me consider the weight we give numbers. We use numbers to measure health, wealth, intelligence, security, satisfaction, and significance. We learn our cholesterol count and feel healthy—or not. We step on the scales and feel happy—or not. We look at our investments and feel secure—or not. We count our ratings and feel successful—or not. Like superstitious patrons at a Chinese restaurant believing the fortune cookies, we base our well-being on a number. But numbers don’t determine security.
Numbers told Israel’s soldiers to cower from mighty Goliath. He towered over any Hebrew soldier in height, weight, and strength. Yet David, a young shepherd, used a different math in facing this giant. He believed being on God’s side counted more than personal strength and military prowess. With only a slingshot and five stones, David told Goliath “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted” (1 Sam. 17:45, NASB). You know the rest of the story. [click to continue…]