THE NUMBER THIRTEEN - REBELLION TRANSFORMED
As we approach the onerous season of Halloween, I would like to address another superstition - the number thirteen. Dr. Gary Stearman wrote an article in the June 2008 issue of Prophecy in the News Magazine (www.prophecyinthenews.com) entitled “Thirteen - Rebellion Becomes Love.” He has found some remarkable indicators involving the number thirteen.
In the Old Testament, the number thirteen is not regarded as unlucky, but rather the number of rebellion. Rebellion is shown by Nimrod, who became king of what was later known as Babylon, and he attempted the construction of the Tower of Babel in rebellion against the Lord. As listed in scripture, Nimrod was the thirteenth descendant of Ham 1. Five kings in the region of Sodom and Gomorrah were required to pay tribute to more powerful kings. They paid the tribute for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled 2.
In the New Testament we find that Jesus lists thirteen evils that proceed out of the heart of man 3. The original rebel, Satan, is called by one of his names, the Dragon, thirteen times in the Revelation. And the Beast, the person we commonly refer to as the anti-Christ, appears in chapter thirteen of the Revelation.
But the Lord turns the number of rebellion into the number of love in the New Testament. John, the beloved Disciple, tells us to “love one another” eleven times. The first occasion is in the thirteenth chapter of John, verse 34, where he uses the phrase twice. The Apostle Paul uses “love one another” two more times, for a total of thirteen occurrences of this phrase in the New Testament.
In addition, the “love” chapter of First Corinthians is chapter thirteen. And in it Paul lists the attributes of love (or charity). There are thirteen attributes.
The Lord shows us that what was once rebellion is turned to love. This is the story of our Salvation. We have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. Sin is rebellion. And yet the Lord loves us enough to forgive that rebellion and wash our sins as white as snow. Oh, Praise the name of the Lord now and forever.
1 - Genesis 10:6-8
2 - Genesis 14:1-4
3 - Mark 7:21-22