The work of a shepherd is not for the faint-hearted. The 24/7 needs of a flock of sheep leave no time out for stormy weather or bodily fatigue. And perhaps most difficult of all, sheep are rarely grateful and mostly oblivious to the sacrifices of careful leadership. Long before His crucifixion, the Lord Jesus was giving His life for the sheep. His earthly ministry was one that began in His mother’s womb.

cover image of Wonderful Words

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). “But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. . . . And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice” (John 10:2, 4). Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). “I am the good shepherd. . . . And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, . . . and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. . . . My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life” (John 10:14, 16, 27–28). “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will” (Hebrews 13:20–21).

GOLDEN THOUGHT: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

[Excerpt adapted from Wonderful Words by Stewart Custer (October 26 reading).]

How Is God Involved in Math?

Going to the doctor isn’t my favorite thing, but in preparing for a recent missions trip to Africa, I had to get a vaccination. As the nurse assisted me, she asked about my job, and I gave my usual reply about BJU Press being a Christian textbook publisher for grades K–12. To define Christian, I explained that one of our primary values is biblical worldview—teaching what God’s Word has to say about different subjects.

But when I mentioned biblical worldview, the nurse stopped me with this question: “How can you have biblical worldview in math? It either is or it isn’t.”

What she meant was “How can math problems have more than one answer?” We all know 2 + 2 always equals 4. (English is the subject with all the exceptions—not math.) Thrilled that the nurse was engaged in our conversation, I quickly thought through how to explain the impact of the gospel and the value of BJU Press curriculum. Two ideas about God’s involvement with math immediately came to my mind.

How are God and math connected? picture

Two Ways God Is Involved in Math

  1. Our God created order. He allows us to explain His order with equations that always have the same answer. It delights Him when we seek to solve problems, and He graciously allows us to find the solutions.
  2. Our God created us to serve. Knowing how to solve an equation should be applied to doing good for others. Math is one of the tools we can use. For example, here she was serving me by giving me an inoculation before a missions trip to Africa. Her ability to measure the correct amount of vaccine based on my weight and height (think mental math equation) ensured that I would be fine.

These thoughts off the top of my head are not the only ways that God impacts our study and use of mathematics. But what I really hope the nurse took away from our short conversation is that math is a tool—not the master.

Sadly, our secular culture has reversed math’s role by valuing it over God. Many mathematicians, statisticians, and scientists use numbers to dictate outcomes that fit their own agendas. They choose to ignore God’s truth and instead idolize what the numbers say.

For example, consider the Donohue-Levitt hypothesis, which argues that legalized abortion in the 1970s was an important factor behind the lower crime rate in the 1990s. The numbers point to a seemingly good correlation because less crime is good for society. But the foundation of this hypothesis is the assumption that abortion is morally right. That assumption leaves God out of the picture.

Our Sovereign Master rules over all and that includes math. He desires us to use our study of math to glorify Him and serve others.

Learn more about BJU Press math curriculum.

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