Counting the Truths of Scripture
Children will learn to look for numbers in the
Bible that point towards God’s love for them.
Children learn in different ways, and children who love numbers and patterns often find it challenging to engage with Bible stories if they aren’t naturally drawn toward reading or hearing stories. Many parents long to help their kids grow in love for God—but capturing their children’s attention requires uniquely and creatively utilizing their gifts, passions, and interests.
For the children who love numbers and patterns—who are constantly seeking, finding, tracing, and counting—God Counts: Numbers in His Word and His World (New Growth Press/November 5, 2018) by Irene Sun is for them. As a mother and homeschool teacher to four boys, Sun is familiar with the different ways in which children learn, grow, and engage. Her own firstborn son loved stories, including The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm and Read Aloud Bible Stories by Ella K. Lindvall. However, when her second son came along and sat on her lap to read these books, she noticed he was not as interested.
“When I read Bible stories to him, he would yell, ‘The end! The end!’ by the time we turned to page two,” she says. “But he loved numbers. And the Lord is kind to fill his world and his Word with numbers. The idea of God Counts was planted by this number-loving child of mine. He opened my eyes to see truth, goodness, and beauty in unlikely places.”
For many months, Sun was on a number hunt, collecting numbers from both the Old and New Testaments, tracing patterns as they slowly emerged. She describes the process as a time in which “numbers sang,” declaring God’s glory and proclaiming his handiwork. Each number, she notes, “poured out speech and revealed knowledge” about God (Psalm 19:1–2). She would share her findings with her son and watch his face light up as she read God Counts to him.
While Sun wrote the book with her number-loving son in mind, the illustrations and content will engage all preschoolers. Through simple language young children can understand and countable, playful illustrations, God Counts introduces Bible stories and theological truths about the Trinity, the God of order, the holiness of God, the problem of sin, the rescue and love of Jesus, and much more. Young readers learn that in the beginning, God created numbers to tell us about himself, and the author points out how numbers magnify God—like a telescope magnifies the stars.
By deepening a child’s understanding of the larger redemptive story of Scripture, Sun pieces together a model of reverence for our sovereign God: “God counts every fish in the sea, every star in the sky. God counts every hair on your head, every tear you cry. God counts all of your steps until you walk with him side by side. God counts all of your days until you see him face to face.”
Children, like adults, are meaning makers, and Sun knows the importance of engaging children who love numbers through arrangement, color, and pattern. On each page, they see not one picture but a mosaic of images and patterns. No detail is too small, and God Counts celebrates this truth about our Creator.