Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Balak is Angry

Continuing today with the story of Balaam and Balak as found in Numbers 24. we learned yesterday that King Balak wanted Balaam the prophet to curse the nation of Israel. He wanted to ease his fears, he wanted assurance that God would be on his side in a battle against the people of Israel.

Balak did not get what he wanted. He tried twice and did not get what he wanted. When we left these men they were setting up to try it a third time.
1When Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. 2And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him
And this is what Balaam said:
"The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
4the oracle of him who hears the words of God,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
falling down with his eyes uncovered:
5How lovely are your tents, O Jacob,
your encampments, O Israel!
6Like palm groves that stretch afar,
like gardens beside a river,
like aloes that the LORD has planted,
like cedar trees beside the waters.
7Water shall flow from his buckets,
and his seed shall be in many waters;
his king shall be higher than Agag,
and his kingdom shall be exalted.
8God brings him out of Egypt
and is for him like the horns of the wild ox;
he shall eat up the nations, his adversaries,
and shall break their bones in pieces
and pierce them through with his arrows.
9He crouched, he lay down like a lion
and like a lioness; who will rouse him up?
Blessed are those who bless you,
and cursed are those who curse you."

So Balak did not get what he wanted this third time. In fact he got rather angry about it.

10And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. And Balak said to Balaam, "I called you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them these three times. 11Therefore now flee to your own place. I said, 'I will certainly honor you,' but the LORD has held you back from honor."
Balaam's defense was.. he was a prophet of God. All he could do was speak the words that God would have him speak.
12And Balaam said to Balak, "Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, 13'If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the LORD, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the LORD speaks, that will I speak'?
And in fact, Balaam had some final words from God to speak to Balak so that Balak would know what would happen with him and his people.

"The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
16the oracle of him who hears the words of God,
and knows the knowledge of the Most High,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
falling down with his eyes uncovered:
17I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near:
a star shall come out of Jacob,
and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;
it shall crush the forehead of Moab
and break down all the sons of Sheth.
18Edom shall be dispossessed;
Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed.
Israel is doing valiantly.
19And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion
and destroy the survivors of cities!"

Balaks' worst dreams were to come true. This nation that he feared, that he had hoped to curse would indeed defeat him and his people. It won't happen right away, but in time, a person will rise out of Israel who would defeat the enemies of Israel, the enemies of God's people.

I have to admit, when I read the words of blessing that God gave to Balaam, I can just picture a father sitting down looking at his offspring and being so glad in them. He sees the beauty in his children. He sees so much of their potential. He loves for his children just shows in the words he gives to Balaam.

Makes me think that's how God sees us his children. How he sees me. He sees me running around doing my daily stuff and he is pleased with me. He is happy and loves me, his child. He wants to bless me and to bless those who bless me. He is unhappy with those who would curse me, and would curse them in turn. He is like the best Dad a gal could ever want. :)

No comments: