Numbers 23

Some thoughts for meditation following our daily devotional Scripture reading that is provided each week.

23:1-12. Balak viewed Israel as any other people, susceptible to the curses of a prophet for hire. He viewed his gods (Molech and Baal) as being stronger than Israel’s God and doing them real harm.

  1. Satan and demons are behind and work through every false religion, 1 Cor 10:20; 2 Cor 11:14-15; Rev 9:28; 16:14; 1 Tim 4:1;
  2. The enemies of the Lord seek the destruction of all that relate to him.
  3. We should not consider Balaam a true prophet just because he spoke some truth. His donkey spoke some truth (22:28ff); unbelieving Caiaphas, high priest during Jesus ministry, spoke truth (John 11:49-52).
  4. The filthiness of the channel does not nullify the truthfulness of the message. This does not justify sin, but rather demonstrates the omnipotent sovereignty of God.
  5. God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants are the foundation of God’s message through Balaam, v. 8
  6. Israel’s separateness from all the nations is because the Lord was their God and was with them, v. 9; Exod 3:16 34:10
  7. It is impossible to effectively curse Israel, for God has promised to bless, not curse them.

23:13-26. Balak thought a change of external circumstances would enable Balaam to curse God.

  1. What God says is true and unchangeable, regardless where the attack originates. Thus upon his Word his saints have confidence and trust, and his enemies are foiled and frustrated.
  2. Israel’s character is wrapped up in the Lord who is with them.
  3. Israel is assured conquest and victory over every enemy. God’s power is so great no sorcery or divination against them is effective.

While the attention of the Balaam prophecies is almost always on him, it should be on God versus Israel’s enemies (Moab, in this case).

From the beginning until the end God’s Word is true and will be accomplished, Num 23:8; Isa 55:11.

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