Day 223 - Num. 22

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Another enemy opposes the approach of Israel toward the land the Lord had chosen for them. Moab is a picture of religious corruption. They were very close to Israel, just across the Jordan. Look at Zeph. 2:8-118I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border. 9Therefore as I live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them. 10This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of hosts. 11The Lord will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen. (Zephaniah 2:8‑11), Ezek. 25:8-118Thus saith the Lord God; Because that Moab and Seir do say, Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen; 9Therefore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, from his cities which are on his frontiers, the glory of the country, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim, 10Unto the men of the east with the Ammonites, and will give them in possession, that the Ammonites may not be remembered among the nations. 11And I will execute judgments upon Moab; and they shall know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 25:8‑11).
V. 1-7 The Moabites are afraid of the Israelites... they had heard of what had happened to some of their neighbors. They decide to hire a man named Balaam to come and curse these Israelites. We will see how gracious God was to Israel. They had miserably failed to obey Him, but the Lord turns this attempt to curse Israel, into the pronouncing of blessing!
V. 8-14 We might think that what Balaam did was right because he asked God what to do. But we'll see he was wrong. He knew very well that he ought to have said "NO". Before you read any further, turn to 2 Peter 2:1515Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (2 Peter 2:15) (We evaluate right from wrong only by the Word of God, and not by our opinion).
V. 15-17 King Balak, more determined than ever to curse Israel, now sends men of higher rank and influence, to try to get Balaam to come to him. They promise Balaam unlimited rewards.
V. 18-19 Lofty words about wanting to know what the Lord's mind was (remember what 2 Peter 2:1515Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (2 Peter 2:15) says) while he really wanted to go.
V. 20-21 God allows him to go because God sees his deter ruination. The next verse proves this.
V. 22-35 Amazing story. Apart from the serpent in Eden, the only case in Scripture of an animal speaking. It saves his life. Balaam persists in his own will, yet using such holy talk.
V. 36-end King Balak welcomes Balaam with idolatrous offerings. A most instructive chapter. It reveals our own treacherous heart. We can profess to be wanting to know the Lord's will for us, yet persisting in our own ways.