Safe from Unseen Enemies
Day: 23 | Plan: Numbers
Today's Reading: Numbers 23
Numbers 23:19 (NIV) “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
The story of Balaam and Balak is a weird one, but I’m glad it’s included in Scripture. Through their interaction we get a glimpse of the kind of unseen opposition that God’s people face.
Today we will read the first two of Balaam’s messages regarding God’s chosen people. God has already told Balaam that he must not put a curse on the people because God has blessed them. (Numbers 22:12) But do not mistake Balaam’s knowledge of God for a relationship with God. Balaam is driven by money and pride.
Balaam instructs Balak to build altars and offer sacrifices to honor God. This is not a true act of worship. This is a pathetic attempt to manipulate God by bribing Him with extravagant offerings. Fake worship never impresses our real God. God is not manipulated, but He does have a message for Balaam and Balak. Not surprisingly, God’s message confirms His character and upholds the promises He has made to Israel.
In reporting this message to Balak, Balaam asks, “ How can I curse those whom God has not cursed?” (Numbers 23:8). God speaks plainly to Balaam. He is faithful and will honor His promises to His people.
Undeterred, Balak begs Balaam to try again. Again, Balak presents the Lord with an offering. He has heard God affirm His promises, yet this unbelieving pagan hopes this God can be persuaded like the feeble idols Balak worships. In this second message, God answers that unasked question. He states plainly that God is not like a human or the man-made idols of the pagans. Our God does not lie. He does not change His mind. His promises, like His first message to Balak, is firm.
God cannot be manipulated through fake worship or persistent appeals. What He has promised He will do, and He will not change His mind. There is comfort in this strange and wonderful passage. God’s people sit encamped at the bottom of the mountain, blissfully unaware of their enemy’s plans against them. But God is always our defense. No manipulation, no spiritual warfare and no futile plans against us can prosper. We are safe even from the unseen enemy who wants to see us fail.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for protecting me. We can be easily manipulated by the look of worship, by the pretense of faithfulness; but You, God, are never deceived. And You never change Your mind about Your chosen children. You will always protect us and keep Your promises. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The Lord put His words in Balaam’s mouth. (Numbers 23:5, 16) Does this surprise you?... Read More
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