Day 223 - Numbers 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. 2:8-11; Ezek. 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 2:15. 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 2:15 says — while he really wanted to go.
V.20-21 God allows him to go because God sees his determination. 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.36-41 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.