God is Faithful!
“Even if Balak were to give me a palace filled with silver and gold, I am powerless to do anything against the will of the LORD.’ I told you that I could say only what the LORD says!“ – Numbers 24:13 NLT
Balaam is under a lot of pressure. He is being offered an opportunity to get rich quick and all he has to do is pronounce a curse on the people of Israel. As soon as he does, Balak will reward him with wealth beyond his imagination. The only problem is that God has told him not to do it. God has demanded that Balaam not say anything that God Himself hasn’t told him to say. So up to this point, Balaam has only been able to bless the people of Israel. And his potential benefactor is getting a little miffed. Each time Balak has asked Balaam to curse Israel, Balaam has sought God. But this final time he doesn’t even bother, because he seems to know what the answer will be. Instead he goes to a place in the wilderness where he can look down on the many tents of Israel camped below him. Then the Spirit of God came on him and he was given an oracle directly from God. It was really a continuation of the oracle he had given earlier. It is interesting to note that these three oracles, recorded in chapters 23 and 24, contain a repeat of the imagery given to Abraham in the covenant that God had made with him many years before. God had promised to give Abraham three things: A land, a seed, and a blessing. God reaffirmed this promise over and over again, not only to Abraham, but to Isaac and Jacob. God was always reminding His chosen people that He would be faithful to keep His covenant promises. And now, through the mouth of Balaam, this non-Israelite diviner, God reaffirms His promises yet again.
The seed promise – “Who can count Jacob’s descendants, as numerous as dust? Who can count even a fourth of Israel’s people? Let me die like the righteous; let my life end like theirs.” – Number 23:10 NLT
The land promise – “See, Israel comes up like a she-lion, lifting himself up like a lion: he will take no rest till he has made a meal of those he has overcome, drinking the blood of those he has put to death.” – Numbers 23:24 BBE
The blessing promise – “Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down; like a lioness, who dares to arouse her? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you.” – Numbers 24:9 NLT
God was going to bless Israel, in spite of all the odds stacked against them. God was going to fulfill His covenant promises. No army, prophet, or pagan diviner was going to be able to stop the people of God because they were backed by the power of God. Balaam knew he was powerless to pronounce a curse because God was not going to allow it. All the money in the world couldn’t buy a curse on Israel if God didn’t allow it. This should give us hope as the people of God. He is faithful. He keeps His promises. And He is also in control. There is nothing anyone can do to the Church of God if God does not want it to happen.
The people of Israel had no idea any of this was happening in the wilderness surrounding them. They had no way of knowing that an enemy king was offering large sums of money to a diviner in order to get him to curse them. They were just going about their business unaware of the potential threat that was out there. But God was on their side. He was watching. And the same is true for us today. We have no idea the spiritual battle being waged against the Church. There are those who wish to destroy Christ’s bride. They are scheming and planning, trying to come up with ways to destroy the Church, from without and from within. But God is in control. He is faithful. He is watching and protecting. He is going to keep His promises. He is going to finish what He began. The enemies of God’s people, like Balak, will ultimately walk away disappointed. Because God is going to win in the end.
Father, thank You once again for reminding me of Your faithfulness. Give me the faith to be able to say what the Psalmist said, “I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalms 56:11 NLT). Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men