Israel camps around Moab, which brings fear into the hearts of the people. Balak, king of Moab, sends princes with the fee for divination to summon Balaam.
Num 22:7-13 The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said. “Spend the night here," Balaam said to them, "and I will bring you back the answer the LORD gives me.” So the Moabite princes stayed with him. God came to Balaam and asked, "Who are these men with you?" Balaam said to God, "Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message: 'A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.’ " But God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed." The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak's princes, "Go back to your own country, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you."
Balak sends more princes with greater power to try and talk Balaam to go, and though he heard God say no once, he goes back to see if there are any further instructions. God instructs him to go, but DO only what He told him to do, and Balaam awakes the next morning and goes with the princes. God is very angry and sends an angel to oppose him three times, to which the donkey turns away three times, to which Balaam beats the donkey three times.
Numbers 22:28-34 Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?" Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now." The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?" "No," he said. Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the LORD asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her." Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back."
He is now instructed to only SAY what he is told, and goes ahead. HE ends up blessing Israel, prophesying about Jesus, and cursing Moab and it’s allies. Both Balak and Balaam goes back home unrewarded.
Last week it was all about what was seen in the human realm. This week I want us to focus on what was unseen. Think about what was happening in the heavenly realms.
Proverbs 29:18b “Where there is no vision, the people perish:”
Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Acts 2:17 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:”
God is about imagination and creativity. We see how some things work in our experience.
- Just today, AT&T attempted to take from me $100 for nothing…because their system was not correct. They threatened to turn me over to collections and the credit bureaus.
- We were once on a trip and was caught up in slow traffic only to learn a few minutes before we got a point, someone drunk was driving the wrong way on I-10 and hit a car head on not half a mile ahead of us.
- Our dog Peanut once gobbled down a doggie treat, not chewing, and almost choked…had to perform the Heimlich
- We were traveling about 5 months ago when a truck lost control in the rain about 2 car lengths in front of us, hydroplaning and spinning, and crossed our lane and safely stopped on the shoulder….at 60MPH
- God sent us just the right man, at the perfect time, and had a contract on our house in two hours, and it was sold within 5 weeks.
- I fell on an icy porch in Franklinton and landed on my butt all the way down the steps
Frank Peretti : This Present Darkness & Piercing the Darkness
God had given Moses a promise of a land flowing with milk and honey. He sent Moses to free to Israelites and saw him through the Red Sea, through droughts and food shortages, and through the wilderness. But God’s word is true and faithful. Once he makes a promise or just a statement, it is truth forever and will be and must be brought to completion. He called the Israelites his chosen people, destined for a promise forever.
The devil (thief) only comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He will do whatever to takes to bring down your spirit, to crumble your emotions, and question your faith. He alone and his ways bring about fear (2 Timothy 1:7) in your life. Those things that the Spirit equips us with, power, love and a sound mind, is what the enemy targets to turn 180°.
We see fear in this story from Balak at the Israelite’s presence, from the donkey in turning from the angel, and from Balaam when the angel confronts him. The only time in any of this is this fear warranted is from the donkey, in that he feared (reverenced) the angel’s presence. I don’t believe that God allowed to donkey to feel worried for his life, because he was only being obedient.
Power was trying to be kept, maintained, and/or increased by both Balak and Balaam, in an ungodly way.
Sound thinking was obviously not the case in the conversation with a donkey. Think about it. It was also not working in Balaam’s words that only what God allowed could be said, and Balak’s continued attempts to find another vantage point to change the wordings.
And you can throw love right out the window, unless you allow the lustful love of money and power and position.
The fight was on, and it was fierce.
And the thing to consider as we struggle day after day to find God’s perspective, is that we are in the midst of the same battling.
Envision what God is doing in heavenly realms in your life, and realize that our eyes must be focused on higher things than what is obvious.