[bible1year] Devotional comments on Numbers 22-24

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From: glen_stewart@...
Date: 16 Feb 2014 12:39:10 -0000
        Balaam was a man who raises many questions for 
the Bible student. He was a soothsayer, yet he was able 
to predict the future of Israel. He listened to God's 
Word and faithfully proclaimed it, yet turned right 
around and led Israel into sin and judgment.

        In verses 1-14 of chapter 22, Balak, king of 
Moab, is fearful of Israel passing by on her way to 
Canaan, and sends for Balaam. He asked Balaam to use his 
demonic magical powers to curse Israel while they were 
encamped in the plain of Moab. Balaam refused, and 
Balak's messengers went home and reported failure. 
However, Balak was not one to give up easily and sent 
princes more noble than the first, and promised Balaam 
wealth and honor if he would reconsider the matter of 
cursing the Jews.

        This is what Satan always does. Once we have 
made the decision to obey God's Word, Satan will make 
every effort to get us to compromise our standards and 
change our decision to obey God.

        God allowed Balaam to go with the princes of 
Balak, but only to test Balaam. It is here that the 
well-known episode with the angel and the ass takes 
place. The angel stood in Balaam's way, but the prophet 
did not see him. The ass did, and acted so strangely 
that Balaam smote her. When he saw the angel, he 
realized his mistake. In verse 32 God said, "Thy way is 
perverse," so there was no reason for Balaam to say, "If 
it displease thee, I will get me back again."

        Balaam was playing with God's will. Within his 
heart he was seeking his own will, wanting God to put 
His stamp of approval upon it. So he was actually 
testing God, seeing how far he could go.

        The main lesson here is that we find the will of 
God and obey it, regardless of personal desires or 
subsequent circumstances. It is always dangerous to play 
with God's will!