Ten Thousand Reasons to Recheck the Math

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

  • Psalm 103:1-5

Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
    no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
    will come and worship before you, Lord;
    they will bring glory to your name.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
    you alone are God.

  • Psalm 86:8-10

My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.

  • Song of Solomon 5:10

And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.

  • Daniel 11:12

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

  • James 2:8-13

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
O my soul, worship His holy Name.
Sing like never before, O my soul.
I’ll worship Your holy Name.
1. The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning;
It’s time to sing Your song again.
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing when the evening comes.
2. You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger,
Your Name is great and Your heart is kind;
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing,
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find.
3. And on that day when my strength is failing,
The end draws near and my time has come;
Still my soul sings Your praise unending,
Ten thousand years and then forevermore.

  • Matt Redman, Ten Thousand Reasons

I listened to a praise song that I had heard many times, but not ten thousand times.  This time Gloria Gaither read Psalm 103, and maybe some other things, in the KJV.  The NIV version is above.  But as I listened, my old engineer came out within me.  Either that, or my guilty conscience.

Ten thousand reasons?  Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find the goodness of God in saving a wretch like me?!

Who was this Matt Redman when he wrote this?  A Saint among saints?!  Or maybe he had not lived life yet.  Maybe he wrote it as a pre-teen.  Or maybe I just thought I was a good little boy who followed the rules all the time.  Maybe I am a total reprobate underneath and outer crust of goodness.

There are 365.25 days in a year, a smidgin less than that, but I am rounding off for things that are horribly wild guesses in the first place.

Let’s say that I am 70 years old and I have had one moment of greed each day of my life.  That is about 25,500, a little more, but only one moment of being greedy??  Come on, now.  Some of those days had more than one, and I doubt if any had less.

I got my driver’s license within a month of turning sixteen years old.  That means that I have been driving for 54 years, as of a month past my seventieth birthday.  Let’s say that two people cut me off in traffic each day, only two.  I have driven millions of miles – roughly two million by my estimates – and getting cut off in traffic or some other bad driving habit is a lot more often than that, but these are wild guesses and some days I never leave the house.  I will round that up to an even 40,000 times that I have gotten angry at another driver, maybe even calling him/her a “fool.”

Now, selfishness?  Oh, good grief!  That has to be more than once each day.  How about, just for giggles, once each hour, but only sixteen hours each day.  I doubt that I can be angelic in my sleep, but let’s cut me a break.  That would be almost exactly 409,000, a little over.

Now lustfulness?  They say that a teenager can think about sex every so many seconds, but is everyone of those thoughts lustful?  And when does that slow down?  Okay, let’s say that half of those thoughts are lustful, but over a lifetime after twelve years old, the average is once every five minutes, so since half are estimated to be lustful, once every ten minutes.  Again thinking of a 70 year old, oh, boy, over 2 million lustful thoughts – granted, most in the teenaged years (365.25 * 8 years {12 to 20 years old} * 16 hours per day * 60 minutes per hour * 5 {one sexual thought each 12 seconds} = 14 million, so maybe lustful thoughts should be a lot higher, and who says a teen sleeps eight hours with their mind thinking about sex that often?).

You say that is ridiculous, but is it?  No, I rarely have lustful thoughts these days, but I am capable.  We have only scratched the surface of the Ten Commandments.  I am sure that my “covet meter” broke decades ago.  My mother demanded that I become a champion of industry.  I may have been very good at getting bosses promoted, but you are not a champion of industry unless they acknowledge that it was you who got them there.  When you are crying out to God that life just is NOT FAIR!!!!  Is that not coveting your boss’ success, when it was your ideas and your imagination and your hard work that got him that success?  Sure, others helped, but even those who worked with you called you “the Miracle Worker.”  I do not think “covet meters” break until you surpass a few hundred million moments of thinking that you should have more than you have, and the jerk next door has a lot more than that.

Funny, how hard work and not being given credit for that hard work leads to much more sin than accidentally looking when a girl bends over provocatively – and I have known people who looked on purpose, even dropping a pen on the floor to establish an opportunity, but not me.  And my parents, who I honored (but occasionally may have had a cross word with them), told me hard work was all that mattered in life.  Okay, my Dad threw in loving Jesus.

And in looking over the sins that I listed, they were all “victimless” sins as I have been told.  No one would ever know that I had done any of them.  No anger ever came to blows.  No lust ever led to action.  No covetousness ever led to anything other than “Woe is me.”  A totally boring life, as some might think. But, no, not really victimless though. Someone said that if you lash out in anger, you may miss the target of your anger, but you always hit yourself.  Those inner thoughts can apply to any sin, and they always wound us.

Our Sunday school lesson when this was written was the James Scripture above.  If we keep all the Law and then have one tiny indiscretion, we are guilty of breaking all the Law, and if we fail, just once, in one tiny time of not showing Mercy, then Mercy will not be shown to us.

Harsh?  Wow, those old grudges could be in the tens of thousands by now.

So, Mr. Redman, how is your math?  Sure, a couple of the Scriptures above talk of ten thousand as being this incomprehensibly big number.  Ten thousand reasons of gratitude for times that God has forgiven me?  Ten million, one hundred million, maybe a billion would not cover it.  But maybe being an engineer, and in this time of rampant inflation, maybe the incomprehensible number is larger than the often used 10,000 in the Bible, about 50 times in the Bible.

What I am saying is that if you look at yourself honestly, just for a few seconds, the sins that God forgives is an incomprehensible number, maybe as ten thousand is used in Revelation 5:11 – the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.”  Maybe the voice of one angel per forgiven sin?

Then, maybe this guy, me, who tried to be good and never willingly harmed anyone…  Maybe underneath his crust is a horrible reprobate, and everyone else is a saint among saints.

Praise God.  Bless His Holy Name.  He has forgiven me.  I am His.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


Add yours →

  1. Oh, Hat, much of that kind of stuff you mention as sin is only a fiery dart flying over your head. If you do not take these things to heart and dwell on them lustfully, you are not in rebellion against God. God would never have told Mary to go and sin no more if it were that impossible not to sin. I’m not belittling the ugliness of sin in us but I am praising Jesus that his blood gives us power to choose not to sin. Now am I arguing? Am I sinning to debate back with you? No, I am sure we are looking for Truth. But you could I am picking a fight. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, I expected someone to take that approach, and I am glad you have stated that. I am just saying that even on our best days, we will stumble here or there. Even if we avoid stumbling by never getting out of bed, we probably should have been doing something. And God is so loving that He will forgive us for so many things that we could never count them. But I love the song, even with the low estimate.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. You’re right, Mark, and the number is huge, because we don’t really comprehend the holiness of God and how different we are from Him. It’s beyond the mishaps, His presence is a state of being that causes us to say, “I am undone”. God wills us His grace, through His Son. Such is the love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do. Not even close. Grace, sheer grace. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very good post; we are so much in need of grace given how much we can sin

    Liked by 1 person

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