Numbers 22:1-20
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Key Verse: 22:12 Kevin Jesmer NIU

“But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.”

Dear Lord, thank you for helping us to live a spiritual life. I would have no direction if it were not for the gospel of Jesus. I would simply work, eat and sleep. I would simply be existing and waiting to leave this world. But thank you Lord for privilege to serve you. It is very satisfying. And I know that I can bear much good fruit in my life. But mostly I know that I will go to heaven to dwell with you forever. Lord, please revive my heart in order to be a shepherd and do outreach. Thank you Lord. Please enlighten my heart with your words today. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

1. Those whom God blesses are blessed (1-13).

Verses 1-13, “ 1 Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho. 2 Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, 3 and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites. 4 The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, 5 sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River, in his native land. Balak said: “A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. 6 Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.” 7 The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said. 8 “Spend the night here,” Balaam said to them, “and I will report back to you with the answer the LORD gives me.” So the Moabite officials stayed with him. 9 God came to Balaam and asked, “Who are these men with you?” 10 Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message: 11 ‘A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.’” 12 But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.” 13 The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak’s officials, “Go back to your own country, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you.”

Israel’s thoroughgoing defeat of the Amorite kings struck terror in the hearts of the Moabites. So the Moabite king Balak hired Balaam to put a curse on Israel. Balaam was a compromising prophet with spiritual gifts, but no truth in his heart. When Balaam prayed, God told him not to go with Balak’s emissaries and not to curse Israel, for God had blessed them. So Balaam sent the Moabite emissaries away.

I think that Balaam was a compromising prophet because he was willing to entertain and consider the request of the Moabites. If he was a sincere prophet, in tune with the Lord and the moving of the Holy Spirit, he should not have entertained the emissaries and rebuked them directly.

We, as servants of the Holy God, must never entertain unholy requests from godless people. We must never entertain them as something plausible, especially if what they are requesting is seriously against the will of God. We need to be very clear about where we stand in regards to fait, right from the beginning. Lord, help me to be a “clear” servant of God who can speak the truth and uphold the truth right from the start.

2. God grants Balaam’s heart’s desire (14-20).

Verses 14-20, “ 14 So the Moabite officials returned to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.” 15 Then Balak sent other officials, more numerous and more distinguished than the first. 16 They came to Balaam and said: “This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me, 17 because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me.”18 But Balaam answered them, “Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God. 19 Now spend the night here so that I can find out what else the LORD will tell me.” 20 That night God came to Balaam and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.”

The king of Moab sent more emissaries and more money to Balaam. Balaam really wanted to go with them. His words of refusal were clear (18), but his actions were not. He invited them to spend the night and he would inquire of God again. God lets people do what they really want to do. He wants us to be responsible for our choices. So God gave Balaam conditional permission to go.
Again he should have clearly said, “No way” you people need to repent and join the people of God and be “on board” with what God is doing.” Maybe he was flattered that some very important emissaries came. Maybe he was flattered that a king was giving him all kinds to attention. His accommodating them and letting them sleep there meant that he was fishing around for a green light from God.

Sometimes were are eager to get accepted by others, especially by people in high positions and even other pastors, We look for recognition and validation of ourselves. We may even choose to compromise the truth in order to do so. But we must stand on the side of truth no matter what, even if it means to be rejected. Galatians 1:10 reads, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God ? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Prayer: Lord, give me a wholehearted desire to please you. Keep me from asking again for what I know does not please you.

One Word: Don’t have a compromising heart

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