You have granted me life and favor, and your visitation has preserved my spirit. Job 10:12.
The word visitation-pekuddah (H6486) from pakad (H6485)-to visit, provides a basis for understanding the nature of covenant promises and the hope of prophecy. The Israelites for 400 years in Egypt clung to this prophetic word from Joseph:
And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel saying God will surely visit you and you shall carry up my bones from here. Genesis 50:25.
This covenant oath and promise between Joseph and his descendants continued as a memorial and became the words used by God to introduce Moses as their deliverer. The fulfillment of this promise becomes a remembrance of God and is prominent in the narrative.
Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say unto them….”I have surely visited you and that which is done to you in Egypt.” Exodus 3:16.
And the people believed and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped. Exodus 4:31.
And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath saying “God will surely visit you and you shall carry up my bones from here with you.” Exodus 13:19.
A deeper understanding of this word is necessary to grasp the statement “your visitation has preserved my spirit” in Job 10:12.
Pakad appears 90 times in the book Numbers, and is the basis for the title. The first four chapters of Numbers recounts a series of censuses that God commanded Moses and Aaron to make of the congregation of Israel.
Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of names, every male by their polls. From twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel you and Aaron shall number them by their armies. Numbers 1:2 & 3.
Verse two describes a numerical count (take the sum) and means a head count; “by their polls” literally means “by their skulls”. Verse three uses the word pakad “number them by their armies”. So what is the relationship between “to visit” and “to number” when the word pakad appears? Pakad actually means to make an assessment, to observe to determine your physical, mental and spiritual state.
The key here is the phrase “that are able to go forth to war”. This is more than a head count, but also an assessment. And so in Exodus 4:31 “He looked upon their affliction”, the visitation is concerned with the state of being.
This correct understanding of “to number or to visit” forms the basis for both ministry and fellowship.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction to remain unspotted from the world. James 1:27.
This verse doesn’t limit ministry to widows and orphans, the emphasis is upon all who are afflicted with these two as prominent examples. Visitation also defines the role of leadership in the church.
Who then is a faithful and wise servant whom his lord has made ruler (more correct is caretaker) over his household (congregation) to give them meat (spiritual sustenance, “I have meat you know not of, my meat is to do the will of the one who sent me” John 4:32-34.) in due season (as the need arises). Matthew 24:45.
Ministering to the saints is a visitation to preserve the spirit of the church.