Saturday, February 15, 2014

Numbers 22-24

I love the story of Balaam and his donkey in Numbers 22-24.  The old generation of Israelites has died, and the new generation is right at the border of the Promised Land near Moab.  Balak, king of Moab, is scared of the Israelites, so he calls Balaam, a famous sorcerer, to curse them.  He is willing to pay Balaam really good money to curse God's people.  But with the help of the angel of the Lord, a stubborn talking donkey, and God's spirit, things just don't turn out in king Balak's favor (even after numerous attempts and seven messages).  God uses Balaam to show everyone He means business.  God is large and in charge, always. 

There are so many life lessons nestled in this story.  I could read it over and over again and have new insight every time.  

How about you?  What message stands out from this story today?

I can't help but notice that Balak is really afraid.  He needs some help beyond himself.  He's starving for God's blessing, but he's not willing to have the faith required to receive it.  He's not a believer.  He resorts to sorcery and bribery to get what he thinks he wants at the moment.  

Balaam gives Balak the same answer a million times.  Balak seeks God's answer, but he really doesn't like what he hears.  He's going about things all wrong, and he can't see it himself.  He keeps manipulating the situation, hoping God will give him a different answer next time.  The problem is, we know, that is not how God works.  

Believing in God, being a Christ follower, having faith- it means we have to trust God for His Word, not just that God is truthful and honest but also that God loves us abundantly and perfectly.  He really does know best even when we struggle to accept His answers to our prayers.  God will not mislead His people.
God is not human, that he should lie,

    not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
    Does he promise and not fulfill?
I have received a command to bless;
    he has blessed, and I cannot change it.

Yep, I will admit it.  I can see parts of myself in the stubbornness of both Balaam and Balak.  Sometimes, God has to give me the same answer seven times over in seven different ways for me to "get it," for me to let go and let God take over.  Sometimes God has to stand in my way to keep me from heading down the wrong path. It's a good thing He's patient. 

Knowing God is the key to living in my faith.

I believe.  That means every answer from God holds a blessing for me.  

If you believe, the same is true for you too!

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for Your truth.  Thank You for never giving up on me and blessing me with Your ceaseless love.

I pray to You today needing a break through and blessing concerning ________________.  Forgive me for trying to work the situation with my own selfish mind and insufficient hands.  I am sorry I can be so stubborn.  Tell me what to do and show me how to do it.  Fill my heart with the determination and discernment I need to be Your faithful servant.

I praise You for Your always perfect answers to my prayers.  You have great plans for me, Lord, full of prosperity and hope.

I also pray your blessings on ________________ today.  The Living power of Your love is exactly what he/she/they need.

In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, I pray,  

In Christ's love,

  *This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more. 


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