Sunday, March 13, 2011

90 day Bible and number sense

I guess some people like numbers more than others. I always liked math class because I knew I could get everything right, unlike the other classes where I was forever being docked a point here and a point there never totally understanding why I didn't get full credit. Have you noticed that God likes math, too? I've mused previously about interesting number repititions like 3, 7, 10, and 40. It seems the same numbers keep popping up in the Scriptures time and time again. I had a thought the other day while reading the Bible and want to ponder it aloud.

I've heard many possible explanations of the number of the beast, 666 (Rev 13:18). Some of the more far-fetched are that it could refer to the Roman Catholic church or even the world-wide web. (Would that make Al Gore the anti-Christ?) Others point to 6 being the number of man, since man is created on the sixth day. It's also interesting to think about what the six days of creation minus the rest on the seventh day could signify (7 denoting completion), namely work without rest, or a failure to enter into Sabbath rest. This is all interesting to me and I really don't know what to make of it. The thought I had while reading a prophetic passage in Zechariah the other day is not complex at all, but simple.

"Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the Man who is My companion," says the Lord of hosts. "Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; then I will turn My hand against the little ones. And it shall come to pass in all the land," says the Lord, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; and each one will say, 'The Lord is my God.'" Zecharia 13:7-9

Do you see it? One-third He will refine and they will be His people. Two-thirds will be cut-off forever. Could it be this simple? Two-thirds in decimal form is .666. Some will say this passage is just referring to national Israel and 1/3 of the Jews alive when this prophecy is fulfilled will be 144,000 (Rev 14). But Romans 9 and other New Testament passages refer to a spiritual Israel of which believing Gentiles are a part. Perhaps the "mark" is simply to signify for the cherubim who is to be refined and who is to be cut-off.

"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. He will set His sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdome prepared for you from the foundation of the world'...Then He will say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" Mathew 25:31-34 and 41

I'm really not an armchair eschatologist. This stuff makes my brain hurt, but I do always seek the most simple explanation. Oh- and notice the one-third saved will be brought through the fire, not removed from it. Hmmm. Still pondering.

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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.