Untying a Donkey is a Blessing
Continued: Numbers 22-24 NIV
Think of a moment in your life where you knew, without a doubt, that God protected you from harm or disaster. And when you think about your life can you see how God has continued to bless you? Can you measure God’s favor and blessing on your life?
Read Numbers 22-24. We can see that Balaam gets a big reality check from an angel who is about to kill him for disobedience within Balaam’s heart. Balaam is doing what is right on the outside, but Balaam is seen for his true intentions. Balaam changes course. Balaam agrees to follow God’s orders both on the outside and the inside. He realizes that God will NOT allow his people to be cursed. Balaam, through multiple petitions by Balak, still holds true to not getting in the way of God’s plans for Israel. WHY? What does Balaam know now?
Do you think the people of Israel knew what was transpiring between Balak and Balaam on the mountains within view of the Israelite camp? And, do you think we can fully understand what God does to protect and help us as we approach the day to day life of home/school/ relationships/finances/etc?
Balaam was summoned to curse the Israelites. What does it mean to curse someone? Why was Balak prepared to pay so much for such a thing as “cursing”? And on the contrary, what does it mean to “bless” someone or something? In Genesis 27 we see that Jacob sneaks the blessing from his father while pretending to be Esau! Why steal it? What is a blessing that the brothers should struggle for it?
In that day and time a curse (Numbers 22) and a blessing (Genesis 27) were extremely valuable because they were acts that wove together the physical (health and wealth), spiritual (angels/demons/promises and support of God), and relational (emotions/family authority/ commitment/covenantal). In ancient times, if you cursed someone, it is far more than a swear word. What Balaam planned to do was spiritually affect the Israelites, and the spirit overlaps the physical. He wanted to affect the Israelites enough that they could be overpowered. A curse is meant to do spiritual damage and physical damage. And, if you blessed someone, you are doing much more than hoping someone does well. A blessing is a prayer of protection, provision, and prosperity both in the physical and spiritual.
So, what was God protecting his people from?
Because of our identity as children of God and through faithful obedience, we can know that God protects us even when we cannot see everything He does. This week we have learned that God expects faithfulness from us through both the large and small tasks. He may even call us to become so selfless that we go unnoticed for our efforts. We also have learned that God demands obedience on the inside and the outside. And we can see that God will be with us every step of the way. He watches over us while evil is waiting to curse us.
So, what do we do next? How do we pray? How do we think? How do we prioritize our life?
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