Why did God take a census of the Israelites?


“Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army.” Numbers 1:2-3
            God asked that the Israelite community be counted, specifically those men twenty years old and older who could serve in the army.  It was part of the draft into the military.  They realized they had a potential force of 603,550.  The Levites were not counted and not expected to fight.
            This also helped the Israelites realize their strength in numbers, which included, most of all, having God on their side.