12 is a number repeated several times in scripture, so we should pay attention and see what it is God wants to reveal about Himself through it.
In the Old Testament God gave Jacob/Israel 12 sons who became the 12 tribes and were called children of God. In the New Testament Jesus chose 12 disciples to follow Him. They established the first church and were called children of God.
The OT describes the priestly garments as having 12 gemstones representing the 12 tribes.
The NT describes the New Jerusalem as having a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and the names of the Twelve Tribes of the Children of Israel written on them.
It goes on to describe the foundations with the names of the 12 apostles on them.
The number 12 is also mentioned elsewhere in scripture, such as the 12 year old girl (young woman) who Jesus raised from the dead (Mark 5:42), just as He will raise His church from the dead as described in Revelation chapter 12 (coincidence? I think not!), where a woman is described who is holding 12 stars.
In Matthew 26, Jesus mentions 12 legions of angels He could call upon to do battle for Him. Again I ask, coincidence? Nope! Who is it He has called upon to put on our armor and do battle against the spirits of darkness? It's us! His church!
Mark 5:25 tells one of my favorite stories, the one about the woman with the issue of blood. How long had she suffered with this condition? 12 years. She touched Jesus' garment, which represents the garments of righteousness He puts on us. Her blood was made right by Him and we are made right by His blood. Wow!
I think it's a pretty safe assumption to say that in scripture the number 12 represents the church.
Now, are you ready for THIS??? I copied this from a We Will Go newsletter regarding those going on the Mozambique trip:
"We are taking 12 on this team = Lancaster family (5), John and Marci Ferguson, Drew Crenshaw, Jennifer Cofer, Ed and Kay Darnell, Brooke Perry." Can you believe it???
He has called His church to BE the church and do what He commanded the church to do: They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)
I pray for these 12 team members to devote themselves to godly teaching, to fellowship together by eating together and praying together. I pray they will do many signs and wonders. I pray for unity among them. I pray they will be sensitive to ways they can share what they have with one another and anyone who has a need. I pray they will gather with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of the people. And I do pray that the Lord will add to their number daily those who are being saved.
Thank You, Lord for revealing hidden things to us when we have hearts attentive to Your voice. Thank You that there is nothing insignificant in Your Word. Thank You for revelation. I pray that each of these 12 team members would discover new revelation as they prepare for this trip over the next 12 days and that they would go deeper and deeper in Your presence. Show each one how to Love The ONE and love the one.