The first chapter of Numbers is a census of the Israelite people, but not the kind of census we might expect. It counts only men, and of the men it counts only the men able to fight in the army. This isn’t a simple numbering of the population, this is a preparation for war, this is a preparation for the conquest of Canaan which should have happened in just a few weeks.
This work of counting shows us two things:
- All that Jesus needs is everything we have
- There are two wars we have to fight