Third Strike You're Out
Verse 24:9b “May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!”
King Balak decides to give it one more try, deciding a new place may just be the trick to get the curse he so desires. Let’s take a minute and remember the reason he was wanting the curse in the first place, why not just fight them in war? He knew that he didn’t stand a chance against God’s people as they had been conquering nations on their way into the region. He wanted a curse brought on God’s people so he wouldn’t lose any of his men in war.
On his side of things, Balaam is coming to some conclusions regarding this whole assignment. He has realized that the God of Israel is not going to stop blessing His people so Balaam doesn’t even try his evil methods of talking to spirits this time. He still had Balak build the altars and sacrifice the animals but that is as far as he went. Balaam looks over to the wilderness and looks at the massive camp of the Israelite people who were numbering over 600,000 fighting men (Numbers 26:51). Notice this is only the fighting men so that didn’t include the men of the tribe of Levi or women and children. This was no small encampment. The tribes were organized around the Tabernacle. This must have been a powerful sight.
When he sees the camp of God’s people the Holy Spirit came upon him and he spoke starting with that his eyes could see clearly. This wasn’t always true for Balaam. As you will remember a few days ago we talked about how he couldn’t see an angel standing in the middle of the road. He continues by proclaiming the wonders of God. This is praise in the purest form because it was instigated by the Holy Spirit.
Balaam, under the Holy Spirit’s influence speaks of how beautiful the encampment looks. He then speaks of how God has helped His people escape Egypt and how His might has been helping them move into the land and how He will continue to devour the enemy nations that stand in their way. God has promised this land to His people, end of story.
God isn’t going to let things happen to His people that aren’t for their good. He didn’t say it would be comfortable and a life of ease – I don’t think the Israelites thought their time in the wilderness was a walk in the park – but He does say He works things out for our good and His glory if we love Him and are called by Him (Romans 8:28).
Making It Personal
Do you find it hard to praise in the midst of people who don’t love God? Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit prompting you to praise? When was the last time you praised God for the things He has done in your life?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever praised God for things you have seen Him do? Take 5 minutes and look around you and see how many things you can find to praise God for. Can you find something to praise Him for using each of the five senses?
Father, we praise You for all the things You do for us big and small. We think of things like the gift of the five senses. How can we ever cease praising You? Open our eyes to the many ways You care for us daily. In Jesus’ name, amen.