THE RANSOM MONEY
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them. This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty gerahs). The half-shekel shall be an offering to the Lord. Everyone included among those who are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering to the Lord. The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give an offering to the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves. And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves.” (Exodus 30:11-16).
The scripture above again exposes us to the ways of God that are different from the ways of men. When we came to the world, we brought nothing with us and what we acquire along the line are from God. Therefore numbering the population like census is a way to know one’s might and be dependent on it. That is, boasting of having thousands of warriors as military strength does not go well with God who is the one that has blessed us with them. In later chapter we will see how God reduced the 22, 000 warriors of Gideon to 300 to fight a battle. The Lord now says numbering the people should be considered as a sacrifice offering to the Lord. Each one must bring a ransom to the Lord when taking the census of the children of Israel. God always wants us to think less of ourselves but more on Him. 2 Samuel 24 says “So the king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Now go throughout all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people, that I may know the number of the people.” Though Joab tried to convince him that this was against the Lord’s wish, he insisted that Joab should still do this. Because of this sin, the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel and 70,000 men died from this plague.”
Therefore we should make effort to keep away from whatever the Lord commands us not to do. Many of us suffer unknowingly because of things we have done that are not pleasing unto the Lord. If God could be angry with king David, a man after God’s heart ,for counting the men of Israel, many mishap that have fallen on us could have been the result of one disobedience or the other. The Lord brought the sin of numbering the children of Israel to the open by sending David’s seer to him to choose the type of punishment he preferred because of this sin. There is no punishment that is small, it is better not to sin against God so as to avoid any form of punishment. Micah 6:8 says”He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you, But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? My prayer is that the grace to do what is right and walk humbly before God, the Lord will release it upon us in Jesus Name, Amen. Be blessed!!!