每日诗歌: 憑祢意行 (http://www.mbcsfv.org/chinese/library/hymncampanions/028.html)
Numbers 25 [Read]
Numbers 26 [Read]
Numbers 27 [Read]
Mark 8 [Read]
Truth can be veiled in the Scripture. That’s why we need to diligently study the whole Scripture, so that the Spirit may unveil the truth for us. Such is the case with the episode of Balaam.
When I first read Nu 22, I felt that Balaam was an obedient prophet of God. He seemed to say all the right things and make all the right moves. So, why was God still mad at him (Nu 22:22)? After the incident of a talking donkey, Balaam seemed to be sincerely repentant and willing to turn back (22:34). But God wanted him to still go ahead. After reaching the destination, he seemed to seek God sincerely. Most importantly, all his prophesies were godly and truly blessed the people of God. So, what’s wrong with that?
The devil is in the detail. First, Balaam’s answer in 22:13 was tactful. God had already told him that Israelites were his blessed people, but Balaam did not convey this message to the messengers from Balak. Instead, he simply said “the Lord refused to let me go” and left the door open. Balak picked up the hint and sent more distinguished people (22:15). Balaam’s response in 22:18 sounded good, but why did he need to ask again? After all, God already told him not to go. After reaching the destination, he went with Balak to Bamoth Baal, a place for worshiping Baal (22:41). Apparently, he tried sorcery the first two attempts (24:1) which was strictly forbidden by God (Lv 19:26), and God told him it wouldn’t work (23:23). After he went back, Israelites was tempted by Moabite women and indulged in sexual immorality (25:1). The Bible tells us that it was based on Balaam’s scheme (31:16). Indeed, the look can be deceiving.
I learned a few things from this episode. First, God can use anyone to accomplish his will, even an evil prophet like Balaam. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Prov 16:9). Second, God will give us plenty of opportunity to repent, even by using a talking donkey. “He who have ears, let him hear” (Mt 13:9). Finally, temptations will always be there, but the purpose is to show the true integrity of our faith (Nu 25:11-13). May these lessons be our encouragement and comfort today.
Keep on reading