by Tim Hall
Counting our blessings is just the beginning.
Twelve thousand men went into battle, from each of the tribes of Israel. The opponents were the Midianites, a people who knew nothing nor cared anything about God.
By anyone’s standards, it would be a risky venture, and lives were certain to be lost. But Israel had God on their side, and they completely defeated the Midianites (Numbers 31:1-11).
Next came the part everyone dreaded: Counting the fatalities from the battle. The report brought to Moses is given in verse 49: “… Your servants have taken a count of the men of war who are under our command, and not a man of us is missing” (NKJV).
Not one soldier was lost in battle that day, though the Midianites were completely routed. Again, it pointed to the presence of God among them. They had surely been blessed.
The officers who brought this amazing report to Moses brought something else that day: “Therefore we have brought an offering for the Lord, what every man found of ornaments of gold: … to make atonement for ourselves before the Lord” (Numbers 31:50).
They were impressed with God’s care for them in dangerous circumstances, and they wanted to do something to show their appreciation.
Sometimes we realize how greatly God has blessed us. It may follow an accident in which no one was seriously injured, or the recovery of a loved one from illness, or a job opportunity that somehow came along at the right time.
People of faith don’t regard such times as “coincidences;” they see God’s hand in it all. They know they’ve been blessed.
And then what? What do we do when we see how richly God has blessed us? Does life continue on as usual, or do we take time to show God our gratitude?
Luke wrote about ten lepers who begged Jesus to cleanse them of their awful disease. As they were going to show themselves to the priest as Jesus had directed them, they suddenly realized they were now clean! It had to be the work of God, and they were undoubtedly overwhelmed with joy.
One of them, however, stopped what he was doing to go back to thank Jesus. Jesus then commented: “… Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:17,18).
When we take time to count our blessings, we will see God’s hand in our lives. Once we have seen how richly he has blessed us, will we turn back to him and thank him? Is there any gift we can give to show how thankful we are for his abundant grace?
by Tim Hall