What is this mysterious number we call pi? The official definition is that pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and has the value 3.141592653…
Think back to Pre-Algebra. Did you use a string and ruler to measure the circumference and diameter of a circular object then calculate the value of pi? My experiment yielded a value of 3.1, and I was delighted to confirm that the mathematicians before me got it right.
March 14 is Pi Day, and this year enhances the giddiness for the pi lovers. Using mm.dd.yy format, the date will be 3.14.15. Consider hours, minutes, and seconds and 9:26:53 will give us 3.14.15 9:26:53. Is your heart racing with excitement? Do you feel an urge to buy a souvenir coffee cup to commemorate pi’s contribution to civilization?
Will the world end March 14th? Are there predictions for asteroids smashing into continents? Will geeks outfitted with pocket protectors, thick glasses, high-water pants, and slide rules take to the streets? Perhaps for a moment, instead of focusing on what’s wrong in the world, media attention can be shifted to the certainty and order delivered by this unassuming irrational number that defines all things circular.
I read every verse in Scripture sharing the reference 3:14. Fourteen of the 66 books have no 3:14 verse. Now hang on to your hat, and take note of these ratios:
Fourteen books have no 3:14 verse, 14/66 = 0.21212121…repeating forever
Fifty-two books have a 3:14 verse, 52/66 = 0.78787878…repeating forever
Significant? Probably not, just more cool math.
As we walk through some of these verses we find a summary of the Creator’s interaction with this world and the men who inhabit it.
The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. Genesis 3:14 NASB
Genesis records the account of Adam’s bad choice which plunged God’s perfect world into ruin and mankind into sin. The fallout from Adam’s decision to disobey God was extensive—paradise was lost, innocence evaporated, and fellowship with God was severed for all mankind. Without God’s intervention the story would close at the start with a dismal ending.
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Exodus 3:14 NASB
The descendants of Abraham were slaves in Egypt. They blossomed into a great nation as God promised, so great the Egyptians took drastic steps to throttle Israel’s growth. God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush with the message that the Israelites were not forgotten. Moses was central to God’s plan for delivering Israel.
So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, Joshua 3:14 NASB
The Promised Land stretched before the weary people who had trampled the desert for forty years. Claiming the promise of Canaan required faith, faith that God could deal with the flooded Jordan River and take His people safely to the other side.
And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” I Kings 3:14 NASB
The nation of Israel prospered under David and Solomon. Solomon occupied the pinnacle of wisdom, riches, and influence but dabbled in arenas God had prohibited. The king compromised himself and spurned the blessings God promised. The kingdom was divided and eventually overrun by invading armies.
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. Ecclesiastes 3:14 NASB
These are Solomon’s timeless words. For mankind history passes slowly. Eternal God is not bound by the limits of time, and His plan will never be thwarted. The redemption promised in Genesis 3:15 is certain.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, John 3:14 NASB
God sent His only Son, Jesus, to the earth as a man. Jesus holds our only hope for restoring the fellowship with God we lost in Genesis. We read the words lifted up and picture a king in regal attire sitting on a splendored throne.
But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, Acts 3:14 NASB
Peter preached a powerful sermon on the Day of Pentecost. He reminded his listeners that Jesus was slandered and accused of all manner of wrong doing. The sinless Jesus was whipped unmercifully then hung on a Roman cross to die. Was this the promised exaltation, or had something in God’s plan gone drastically wrong? Was hope for mankind lost? Without redemption the circle of life remains broken.
so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:14 NASB
God’s plan was on track. Jesus paid the penalty of sin and satisfied the debt each of us owed. God did not restrict His plan to Israel but extended it to all mankind. Those who accept the free gift of salvation exalt Jesus as Lord and become part of the family.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14 NASB
Throughout history God’s love is extended to all mankind. God’s love is the mysterious binding agent that completes the circle of life and allows us to fellowship with our Creator.
On Pi Day enjoy a slice of your favorite pie, and thank God for the order He created in our world and the love He bestows on all who will accept it.
Happy Pi Day!