Numbers 22: Listen to What God Says


I know that Numbers chapter 22 did not nearly have a glamorous end with Balaam and his donkey, but I know that I at least had forgotten to beginning part of this chapter.

Balaam started out on the right path. When people tried to get him to go to war against the children of Israel, he started out by refusing because he listened to God.

Num 22:18  And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.

This is the type of commitment that we all need. Earthly possessions should not change anything about our commitment to God. Nothing about this world should change how we feel about God.

Now, Balaam made some mistakes. Obviously, God told him not to go, but he continued to ask God if he could go now. It would have helped Balaam to refer back to his old statement.

He should have followed God regardless. Obviously, he wanted to go, but the answer from God should have been enough. Again, he allowed his earthly desires to interfere with what he knew was right.

Again, this refers back to the same idea. All of our earthly desires should not change anything about our relationship with God. Our own ambition should be sacrificed to do the will of God.

I know that a lot of this is harder to practice than it is to preach, but I think that is a valuable lesson.

When I read these words at first, it actually made me think of Jesus. He did exactly what God said, and He did it perfectly. That is the standard that we all need to strive for. We need to finish a lot more like Jesus did of course, but these initial words from Balaam got me thinking.

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Posted on December 8, 2012, in Numbers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Zak, First I want to thank you for walking me through books of the Bible I’ve never spent time with. I’m finding Balaam’s journey, beginning in Chapter 22 and continuing through Chapter 24, speaks to me with very special meaning at this family time of Christmas. In 22:10 God tells Balaam to go with the second set of messengers “but only do what I tell you”. On that journey God’s angel is only visible to the donkey not to Balaam himself and so Balaam treats the unexpected behavior of the donkey as an insult and not part of God’s plan. Balaam doesn’t treat the events of his journey as part of God’s plan until he sees the angel for himself. This reminds me of so many times where I didn’t understand in my own terms what was happening and failed to think that God has a purpose for my life and my only job is to live it as He gives it to me. After reading your message I think how ludicrous it is for us to only follow God’s way when we see His hand with our own eyes. Of course this makes me think of two passages in the New Testament: First, in Luke 16:18 where the rich man, after his death, asks Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his five brothers and Abraham says “they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them”; and most of all, second, where Jesus tells Thomas, “Blessed are those that have not seen, and yet believe.” Thanks again for this journey. See you soon. Chick

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