Matters of Faith: Sand, Too Numerous to Count, But Still Loved

Hosea 1:10
Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

The Encylopedia Britannica says that sand is made of particles that range in diameter from 0.02 to 2 mm (0.0008–0.08 inch), making it smaller than gravel but coarser than silt. It is one of the smallest objects on the planet and can be found in most of the rock-forming minerals that occur on the Earth’s surface.

Sand can come in many colors and is found around the world, even on the ocean floor. We use the word sand colloquially when we say such things as “the sands of time;” and “sands in the hour glass.” A patch of land on the shore of the sea is called a beach that is filled with lots and lots of sand.

When the Bible speaks of sand, it usually refers to the Israelites being too numerous to count. Their lives were and are intrinsically intertwined with one another. In this text, the children of Israel were being warned and encouraged at the same time. The Israelites had defiled their relationship with God in the same manner that an unfaithful spouse commits adultry. The Lord makes it clear that He was not happy about it. But His anger and forgiveness are on display as He tells them that they are not His people, but that they will be called the son’s of the living God nonetheless.

There is a ceremony that has become pretty popular at weddings. It is known as the ”sand” ceremony and it is used symbolically to visually represent the blending of families. It is a participatory ceremony where the bride and the groom, selected members of both families, and the officiant each pour different hued sand from vials into a vase. The resulting mix of the various sands creates a beautiful mosaic of colors.

A portion of the officiant’s white sand is poured in first to symbolically represent the presence of God as the foundation of the marriage. After everyone else has put their sand into the vase, symbolizing the coming together of the two families, the officiant pours the remainder of his/her sand to show that God is also the head of the marriage. The mixed sands can never be separated.

The similarities between the sand ceremony and the Israelites are striking. The sand can’t be unmixed, and the Israelites cannot be outside of God’s love. The same love the Lord has for the Israelites, He has for His followers today.

We are the sand that is too numerous to count, but still loved!

Be Blessed +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book at Book Blues.

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