Celebrating Birthdays

This may seem a strange topic, but I want to share how I prepare for my birthday. I am fortunate to have a birthday in the autumn season, which is my favorite season of the year. About a month out, I start studying for my birthday. I read chapters in books of the bible that match the age I will turn to see if anything strikes my spirit. If a verse or passage strikes my spirit, then I write it in my journal to see if I should attach my faith to it for the new year.

Yes, I say Happy New Year instead of Happy Birthday.

Anyway, I pray and meditate about the theme of my new year. I study the context around my “birth chapters” in the bible and search my heart for a witness to those verses. Whether a blessing to claim or a warning to heed, I am watchful.

My preparation this year was wonderfully interrupted by two new ways to consider the biblical significance of numbers. I knew I wanted to share with you. If you’ve known about these two new ways of researching numbers, then feel free to share how the method has helped you. If you have a fourth, fifth, or other way you discern the biblical meaning of numbers, I want you to feel free to share as well.

Hebrew Alphabet

This should have been automatic for me to think of, probably, but it wasn’t. It never dawned on me to match the number with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. The first 10 letters are numbered one to ten. The following nine letters have a value of 20 to 100. If I turn 35 on my next birthday, then I would look up the 12th and 5th letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The meanings were like a door opening slowly to a secret chamber. Then I went to Psalm 119 and read the section that corresponded with the Hebrew letter. I consulted Psalm 119 because each section begins with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet and may have section headers as indicators.

List of Mentions in the Bible

The second new method I found to discover the biblical meaning of a number is to look at a list of how many times a name or term is mentioned in Scripture. Then, from that list, find the number that corresponds to the age I will turn on my next birthday. If we stick with the above example, I might look at the 35th time certain names are mentioned — Jesus, Peter, Paul, etc. I would read the context around those verses and maybe, find a common thread of meaning. I admit that this method is kind of cloak and dagger, but it is interesting and cannot hurt to try.

Do you seek the Lord for a word, message, or theme for each year of your life? Do you attach your faith to a Scripture or prophecy and keep declaring it for one year? There’s a beauty and growth in having a true north. If things look or feel chaotic, then you can go back to prayer and point to the theme, or the message.

If you haven’t tried it, please consider either of these three ways to prepare for your birthday. If your birthday has passed, still, try it. You’ll be this age for an entire year. It’s not too late.

  1. Read the bible chapters that correspond with your age.
  2. Look up the Hebrew alphabet that corresponds with each digit of your age. Then read the section of Psalm 119 that matches that Hebrew letter.
  3. Research how many times a word, name or message was mentioned in the bible. Then read more about the verse or passage that was mentioned the same number of times as your age.

The Bible is exciting and opens up many ways to seek the Lord and find our lives. One verse may lead us to write something significant. Another verse may lead us to a book that has the message for us. There are also the extra benefits of discipline, focus, and the joy of knowing the Father is literally walking with us in our growth. Selah, and amen.

Dr. Shaunta Scroggins is the founder of The Bereans’ Commentary.

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