Saturday, May 21, 2011

Numbers: Chapter 22

Balak was troubled by the Israelites.  He saw their victories and feared their impact.  He sought an earthly alliance with his neighbors--and the help of the prophet Balaam.  Zipporah, Moses' first wife was  Midianite.  Whatever he knew of the Israelites, Balaam knew to go to the Lord and God spoke with him.  Sadly, Balaam kept on speaking with Balak, king of the Moabites.

Balaam troubles me.  I think perhaps his less than stellar attributes are a bit too close to home.  He goes to God and has an answer.  His desires, though, don't mesh with the Lord's answer, so he keeps asking.  God does sometimes say yes when it is not His desire--and when it is not in our best interest.  I strongly suspect I do that myself sometimes and it is worrisome!  I want to hear the Lord clearly and be willing to obey, don't you?  Balaam's eyes were diverted to the possibilities of the world.  His spiritual discernment was less than his donkey's!  Remaining committed to our desires dangerously dulls our discernment.

It will be interesting to follow Balaam for the next few days.  The commentary says more is mentioned of Balaam than Mary, the mother of Jesus!  The Old Testament stories give a hint of a man who knew God; the New Testament offers only comments of apostasy.  May we learn from and avoid the 'error of Balaam.' 

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