This year, God has taught me so much about contentedness, fullness in life, & His provision. However, one of my biggest treasures of 2020 has been learning about the significance of the number 7 in Scripture. In Hebrew, "Seven" translates into "fullness," "completion," or "nothing can be added unto it." Since learning this back at the beginning of quarantine, Seven has stuck out to me time and time again in this time of sudden loss. Below are just 7 of the many ways the Number 7 is used to show God's fullness in the Bible!
1. Genesis: The first sentence of the Bible reads “In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” This sentence, translated into Hebrew, is 7 words.
As the story goes, God created everything in 6 days and, on the 7th day— the Sabbath — He "rested." In imitation, the Jewish people did the same. In many ways, it seems like that 7th day would be the "perfect" or most complete day. However, you cannot arrive at the 7th day without the first 6 days. It takes every day to culminate a week— to make it complete. Truly, God's fullness isn't just there on particular or "special" days, but woven into the every-day.
2. Leviticus: Leviticus, the third book of the Old Testament, articulates Jewish life which revolved around the Israelite Calendar. The Israelite Calendar was segmented into 7 festivals or feasts that celebrate God’s promises and provisions.
However, what stuck out to me most was learning that "Seven" in Hebrew translates to "fullness," "completion," or "nothing can be added unto it." Truly, the whole schedule of the Jewish people revolved around the fact that nothing can be added unto what God provides, and celebrating that truth with thanksgiving. After learning this, I decided to jot down some things I was thankful for in that strange season of sudden loss. After rereading my list, I noticed something interesting- without realizing it, I had written down 7 things!
3. Joshua PART 1: In the book of Joshua there is an emphasis on the number 7 throughout the telling of the famous story of the Battle of Jericho.
In the book of Joshua, the Israelites are finally entering into the Promised Land under Joshua's command. They had to conquer big intimidating cities like Jericho, but God promises Jericho "into [their] hand." God told Joshua's troops to march around Jericho for 6 days, promising that the walls would fall on the 7th day at the blast of their trumpets. As the soldiers received these instructions, they were probably reminded of the significance of "7" in their life and God's ability to finish what He starts.
4. Joshua PART 2: However, another aspect that is significant about this story is the blast of the trumpets!
On the first day of the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), the 7th month, the Israelites would blast their trumpets in celebration. The Israelites also did this in battle to indicate victory. But the soldiers in the Battle of Jericho don't just blast their trumpets only when the walls fall and they are proven victorious. They blast their trumpets on every.day.before. They knew victory was promised! As Christians now, we too don't have to wait for victory! We can blast our trumpets NOW knowing that Jesus has already defeated Death!
5. Isaiah: Isaiah 11 describes seven characteristics of the Messiah (Savior) to come. Jesus fulfills this prophecy!
Jesus calls himself the branch who did, indeed, come from the "stump," or ancestry, of Jesse. Time and time again, we see that the existence of Jesus on earth was nothing short of humble. Isaiah 11 then goes on to list seven characteristics of the promised Messiah (savior) to come. Jesus elaborates on these in the gospel of John.
6. John: In the gospel of John, Jesus has 7 “I am” statements, describing his character.
He is the bread of life. With him, your heart won't hunger. He is the light of the world, defeating darkness. He is the door to eternity. He is the good shepherd and cares for his sheep (even to the point of death). He is the resurrection & the life, defeating death. He is the way the truth & the life. Jesus alone is the source of true fullness of life here on earth & in heaven. He is the true vine. We are the branches.
7. Matthew: Right now I’m studying Matthew alongside some pretty great college girls. The number 7 is used countless times in Matthew from Jesus' seven parables to Peter being told that he should forgive others 7x70 times.
However, my current personal favorite, is the significance of 7 in Jesus' lineage. A couple of weeks ago we read Matthew 1-3 and it begins stating that there were 3 sets of 14 (7X2) generations from Abraham to Christ. Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies of the promised Messiah that the Israelites waited for. Because of this, I'm reminded that Jesus is the culmination of all God is and all He promises. Nothing can be added to it. He is all we need. Let us blast our trumpets of victory now. Death is defeated. Let life begin!