And they told him, “Joseph is still alive! He is even ruler over all the land of Egypt.” Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die.” — Genesis 45:26, 28
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. — Oprah Winfrey
What news the brothers brought back from Egypt for Jacob! Jacob said, “Let’s get going,” with barely a blink of his eye. Little did he know how this relocation of his family would change their lives and the lives of their descendants for the next 430 years. (Exodus 12:40)
But God knew.
Look at Genesis 46:1-4: So Israel took all he had and started his trip. He went to Beersheba, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. During the night God spoke to Israel in a vision and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And Jacob answered, “Here I am.” Then God said, “I am God, the God of your father. Don’t be afraid to go to Egypt, because I will make your descendants a great nation there. I will go to Egypt with you, and I will bring you out of Egypt again.
Jacob’s family numbered 70 when they loaded up all they had for the move to Egypt. When they left during the Exodus, there were 600,000 men on foot, besides women and children. (Exodus 12:37). Some scholars believe the total number during the Exodus might have been as high as 2.4 million!
Throughout the Hebrew Bible, we find this same excellent record-keeping. Keeping records today matters, too. The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census be taken every 10 years. Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year and, also, determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.
Numbers can affect change and so in this ancient story of Joseph, we find a solid basis for responding to the 2020 Census. If you haven’t completed your census form yet, please do so now at 2020census.gov.