"Numbering the people"

[Written Especiaily for Young People]

At one time the writer had invited a group of friends to her home. The day before, however, many sent word that they would not be able to come. Turning earnestly to divine Love for guidance as to whether the meeting should be postponed, she was led to open her Bible at the third chapter of Proverbs, where it is written: "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give." With a grateful heart the student humbly thanked God for the answer and went on preparing for the joyous occasion, which she had been anticipating for several weeks. When the little group gathered, so much love, kindness, and interest were expressed that the smallness of the number did not detract from the activity of the meeting.

How often we permit the human sense of numbers and quantity to deprive us of the good things divine Love eternally has in store for all! Many times we learn that mere numbers neither make nor mar our demonstration of Truth.

In the Bible it is related that when Gideon was called by God to save Israel from the Midianites, he gathered the people around him. But, on humbly listening for divine guidance, Gideon learned that the army was too large, for with this number the children of Israel might take the glory of the victory unto themselves. He was told to decrease it by letting all the fainthearted ones go back home. Thus the number was reduced to ten thousand. But still God told Gideon that the army was too large. Then he received the counsel to take the men down to the water. The result was that three hundred, who "lapped, putting their hand to their mouth," were allowed to go on with him. This seemed a very small number to go against the Midianites, especially as the enemy had secured the aid of the Amalekites and others, so that together they "lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number."

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The Christ is King
December 24, 1938

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