My Little Brother (Numbers 7:84)

“Hey Paul! I’m your little brother, Jake!”

 

He was nearly a foot shorter and five years younger. With a shock of brown hair framing a thin smiling face, he stuck his hand out to greet me.

 

“Very cool! Pleased to meet you, Jake!”

 

Our high school was embarking upon a new program dubbed the Little Brother Program. It randomly paired incoming seventh graders with a senior upperclassman, affording each an opportunity to befriend one another. There were planned encounters during the year including participating in the Homecoming assembly and various activity days. We both enjoyed participating in the events and even found time to get together outside of these meetings. As my senior year was coming to an end our yearbooks were passed out. A flurry of activity occupied most of our remaining days as we sought to have our friends sign their photos. Of course, I wanted my little brother to sign it and we soon met. I signed his yearbook, returned it, and when I received mine back, quickly turned to his photo. It was unsigned.

 

“Why didn’t you sign my yearbook?”

 

“I did!”

 

Quickly looking at the inside and back covers, I could not find his message. “Where did you sign it?”

 

He grabbed the yearbook from my hands and turned to the page. “Right there!”

 

I was stunned!

 

“You signed MY photo!”

 

“Of course!” he grinned.

 

“Why?” I was flabbergasted that he didn’t sign his photo but signed mine instead, partially covering it.

 

“Hey, if I signed my photo, when would you ever turn to the seventh graders and look for me? This way you will always remember me!”

 

Good point! We parted, promising one another that we would keep in touch. His clever action made sure I would remember him!

 

This was the dedication offering for the altar on the day when it was anointed, from the chiefs of Israel: twelve silver plates, twelve silver basins, twelve golden dishes…

Numbers 7:84 (ESV)

 

From Genesis to Chronicles, the Bible records numerous lists of the names of Israelites. I used to wonder why God would painstakingly record the names and contributions of so many Israelites, some never mentioned again except within that brief Bible passage. As an example, in this chapter from the Book of Numbers, the twelve tribes of Israel are commanded by Moses to contribute an offering for the consecration of the original temple.

 

Nashon, Nethanel, Eliab, Elizur, Shelumiel, Eliasaph, Elishama, Gamaliel, Abidan, Ahiezer, Pagiel, and Ahira. Over twelve days, these men representing their respective twelve tribes of Israel, each presented a silver plate, a silver basin, a golden dish, a bull, a ram, a male lamb, and a goat. The procession and offering comprise the entire chapter. Whenever I read the Bible, I would simply gloss over the details of this chapter, thinking it repetitive and unimportant, until one day, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and directed me to ponder the reasons God placed these names and passages in the Bible.

 

God placed these names in the Bible so WE would remember. God used these men to declare the holiness of His character and to set the example of using our lives and possessions to honor Him first. Someday, in Heaven before my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I will have an opportunity to meet these great Saints of the Bible, whom God chose to honor.  I know them because God knows them! God will make sure I do not forget them because He does not!

 

My little brother and I were reunited many years later. I learned that his father was also a practicing physician and reconnected through him. Now a foot taller, my little brother was no longer. He did remember signing my picture in my yearbook…and he was glad I did not forget him! He made sure of that!

 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

 

 

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