READ: Numbers 23-24
THINK: This is a fascinating section of scripture. Balak is doing everything that he possibly can to curse Israel, but the guy he needs in order to do it, Balaam, keeps coming up with these blessing and incredible promises and prophesies for Israel. And I think there is some incredible confidence that we can gain from reading this passage and getting a bigger picture of who God is and what he does for his people.
“From the rocky peaks I see them, from the heights I view them. I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations.” – Numbers 23:9
To be a Christian means to be a citizen of a different kingdom. We live in the world but our home is in Heaven. We are in the world but not of it. And that’s not always easy. Sometimes it is tempting to live the way that world lives, and walk in the same paths as those around us who don’t know God. But we are clearly called to something more.
God calls his people to stand firm in bold relief against the backdrop of an evil world. We are to treat the world with love, but we are also to stand up for what is right and stand against the evil and injustice and oppression that we see around us every day. But this isn’t popular. Having the integrity to stand for truth makes us enemies of the world. Jesus promises us that we will be hated and opposed for his sake.
And that causes some people to be afraid. It causes them to conform because they are frightened of what the opposition of the world might mean. But “There is no divination against Jacob, no evil omens againstIsrael.” (Numbers 23:23) There is absolutely no reason for God’s people to fear. There is no real opposition that could ever affect us.
There will always be ungodly people like Balak and Balaam in the world, plotting our downfall and opposing the message and the people of Jesus at every turn. But we don’t need to worry any more than Israel did. In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “Though they call in the aid of Beelzebub and employ all his serpentine craft, it will avail them nothing: the spells will not work; the divination will deceive them. What a blessing this is! How it quiets the heart! God’s Jacobs wrestle with God, but none shall wrestle with them and prevail. God’s Israels have power with God and prevail, but none shall have power to prevail against them. We need not fear the fiend himself, nor any of those secret enemies whose words are full of deceit and whose plans are deep and unfathomable. They cannot hurt those who trust in the living God. We defy the devil and all his legions.”
PRAY: Thank God for who he is. Thank him for his love and for his protection amidst the brokenness and challenges of life. And commit to following him and trusting him no matter what sort of opposition the world may throw your way.
Wow! Great encouragement!