Sunday, July 6, 2014

Numbers 24

Today's reading in our daily plan is Numbers 24. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • For the beginning of this story, read chapters 22 and 23 and the posts we did on those chapters (here's the post for chapter 22 and for 23).
  • We see in verse 1, as we have noted previously, that Balaam was not a faithful believer in God or a prophet of God's. He was actually a sorcerer, but one who God decides to use in this situation.
  • In verses 3-9 Balaam speaks, with some very poetic words, about God's desire to bless the Israelites.
  • Balak is furious and sends Balaam away without pay.
  • Balaam then gives two more oracles. In the first he gives what seems to be a foretelling of the coming of Jesus, as he speaks of a "star will come out of Jacob" and "a scepter" that "will rise out of Israel" (verse 17).

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Throughout this story it seems that Balaam was hoping to do what Balak wanted and score himself a big pay day. Finally, in this chapter, he seems to realize that he is not going to win out over God's will. In verse 1 he decides to not resort to sorcery and "turned his face toward the desert." In verses 12-14 he tells Balak that even if it means he will not get paid, he must say what God tells him to.
  • In life we get in tugs of war with God, but the quicker we come to the conclusion that God's way is best and we need to bend our will to meet His, the better things will go for us.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • In what area of your life have you been in a tug of war with God, hoping that eventually you'll get your way?