Numbers 23:11 – Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!” NIV
If you read my blogs on a regular basis, then you know that I have started working on reading the Bible to see how fast I can read it. I heard one woman say that she took some time off to spend with the Lord and I believe she said she read it in a week. That’s amazing! I’m not quite that dedicated to getting through it, but I am making progress and in the last last two weeks I have been on a steady path and have just completed the book of Numbers.
Another thing you might remember me mentioning is that I have started viewing the Bible project on YouTube which one of my followers suggested to me. I had seen it before, but had forgotten how much I enjoyed it and now I watch it before I begin every new book of the Bible. It really helps to set the tone and increases my understanding.
The Bible project brought out a point about Balak’s attempt to curse Israel, and I decided to look at it again and then to blog about it.
The song, “Waymaker” written and sung by Sinach, has become a favorite for many, especially me. Michael W. Smith also sings this song and he sings an additional part to the song:
Even when I can’t see it, You’re working,
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working,
You never stop, You never stop working!
You never stop, You never stop working!
If you have not heard either version, they are both wonderful. You should check the out!
In Numbers chapter 22, we find Balak, king of Moab stirred up over the children of Israel passing through his land. He gets the bright idea to send for Balaam to curse the children of Israel that he might be able to overtake them in war and stop their progression to the promised land.
What Moab didn’t know, or didn’t hold much credence to is that God had already blessed Israel and promised them the land. He had already given them instructions to wipe out the inhabitants of the land, so there was really nothing that Balak could do to stop it.
Balak sent for Balaam. Balaam was obviously known to bless or curse people. In my readings, I have found comments stating Balaam was a prophet of God, wanting only to do his will, and other side, Balaam was crooked and kept saying he would only do His will to up the monetary gifts, thus his value. Balak, in the meanwhile, has allied himself with the Midianites with the goal of stopping the Israelites, and he doesn’t care about any of that, he just wants Israel cursed.
As Balaam heads to meet with Balak, he encounters God. This has always been a little puzzling to me. God gives him permission to go, then God says He’s going to kill him for going. According to a commentator on the matter, it was to demonstrate that if he was such a one who could spiritually discern what God was doing, why did his donkey have to let him know that God was present to kill him? I’m not sure about this, but I do know that the donkey talks to him and reveals that God is there with a sword in his hand. According to the commentator, this is also God’s way of letting Balaam know that His word is law, and to say anything other than what he is told to say, will not end well for him. (My paraphrase!)
Balak is so excited that Balaam has come to curse the people that he meets him at the Moabite border! He lets Balaam knows that he should’ve come at the beginning and that he will surely be rewarded if he curses this people; but Balaam reminds him that He can say no more than what he is told to say.
When he gets started, he instructs Balak to prepare seven altars and he steps to the side to wait on God. God does speak to him and instructs him to bless the people, but when he does it, Balak is furious! Three times, Balak asks Balaam to curse them, and three times, Balaam blesses them! Now here’s the point:
They were on the mountains overlooking the hundreds of thousands of Israelites who were in the valley just wanting to pass through. And as they were in the valley, they had absolutely no idea that there was someone overlooking them to curse them. They couldn’t see Balak, the Moabite officials, or Balaam overhead. They didn’t realize that anything was going on, but God was working on their behalf! The enemy was trying to curse them, to bring about their demise, and God was right in the middle of the situation, working things out for their good! And guess what else? The Moabites were worried about the Israelites, when God had already given them strict orders not to touch them! Worried for no reason whatsoever! Sounds like so many of us!
I thought this was a beautiful picture of that statement, even when you don’t see Him, He’s working. Some times we forget that our Heavenly Father is looking out for us. That when He told Abraham, “I will bless those who bless my people. and I will curse those who curse them too,” that this promise is ours to accept. Even now in this pandemic, God is working! We can’t see it! It may not even feel like it! But He’s working!
Hearing that this stay at home order is expected to last until summer may seem daunting at best, but we should not allow that to be our focus. If we do, it will overwhelm us and cause us unnecessary anxiety. That’s why it is important to know that even when things looks bad, God is working on the behalf of His people. We can’t see it! We can’t even imagine what it could be, or even how it can be, but He is! By faith I understand that is just how He works sometimes! Behind the scenes, in the midst of troubles, without us even knowing it, but before it is all over, we will know that He is still a Waymaker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the darkness! Wonderful Jesus!