Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Numbers 23-25
One thing I want you to notice as we read today: The world cannot curse what YHWH has blessed.
Also a key verse which we should have at the forefront of our minds when it comes to how we treat the Word of YHWH:
God is not a man that He should lie, or a son of man that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19
Add to this:
I am YHWH, I do not change. Malachi 3:6.
Our Father is steadfast. He is a constant. He is sure and true and His word can be trusted. Unlike doctrines of men, beliefs du jour, and tides of culture and opinion, He does not change. So if we are to follow Him, we’d best be careful that we are actually following Him rather than someone presenting an idea of how the current culture wants Him to be. How do we do this? Read His Word Believe it. Do it.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22
I want to welcome back my sweet friend, Debbie Ingle, with her Rabbit Trails today while I try to work ahead a bit on our study notes.
We left Balaam humbled by his donkey and Balak anxious for Balaam’s curse in Numbers 22. Let’s see how this history continues to develop…to the great horror of Balak, king of Moab.
Balaam instructs Balak to build altars and prepare sacrifices to Yehovah, then Balaam “went to a barren height” (a bare hilltop, Numbers 23:3) where “God met with Balaam”(Numbers 23:4). This meeting, and a few others, did not go as planned. Balaam leaves this encounter with a blessing for Israel. As a matter of fact, each time Balaam “goes up” to meet with Yehovah, the blessings get better!
Keep in mind that these blessings are being uttered by a pagan sorcerer hired by a military enemy…to curse Israel!
A few highlights…
- “Who can count Jacob’s dust? Who can number a fourth of Israel?” (Numbers 23:10)
- “There is no sorcery effective against Jacob, nor any divination against Israel!” (Numbers 23:23)
- “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob, and your dwellings, O Israel!” (Numbers 24:5)
- “He who blesses you will be blessed, and he who curses you will be cursed.” (Numbers 24:9) (compare to Genesis 12:3)
By this time, Balak has had enough. “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but look, you have blessed them these three times! Now go home!” (Numbers 24:10-11)
But before Balaam leaves, he has just one more blessing to share…free of charge…
“I see him, yet not at this moment. I behold him, yet not in this location. For a star will come from Jacob, a scepter will arise from Israel.” Numbers 24:17
A star from Jacob…a scepter from Israel. Sound familiar? This our Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus)!
Yes! Yeshua’s “star” and “scepter” are prophesied by a pagan sorcerer while Israel is still wandering in the wilderness…THOUSANDS of years before His first and second comings.
- The “star” has come (Matthew 2:2)!
- The “scepter” is coming (Revelation 22:16)!
We can be sure that Yeshua/Jesus has already come once. There is no doubt that the “star” prophecy is true!
But…do we really believe that He is coming again to rule with His “scepter?” Do we believe He is coming again?
Most believers that I talk with DO believe that Yeshua is coming again…in word, but living out that belief is sometimes hard.
Why is that? Maybe it has something to do with…THOUSANDS. OF. YEARS.
Waiting sometimes makes us feel like maybe we misunderstood the prophecy…or YHVH changed His mind…or maybe scripture is just a work of fiction.
Friends, do not fall prey to that line of thinking. Live in confidence, knowing that the “star” was fulfilled over 2,000 years later.
The “scepter” WILL be fulfilled.
Numbers 25:3 — Notice that when Israel began to fraternize with the people of Moab, Israel became joined [tsamad] to Baal of Peor. That word “joined” can be translated as “bound.” Isn’t that the way with sin. We think we are joining in sin, but it is really binding us!
And the absolute brazen nature of their sin. This is definitely a passage with an R rating! While people actually had the nerve to sit and cry at the entrance to the tent for those who had been judged…I believe the implication here is that they were fornicating in the tent. In. YHVH’s. Presence.
Notice how serious this is to YHVH. We are told that 24,000 people died before this is stopped.
And it is stopped by the righteous anger of one man. Phinehas. For his zeal, Phinehas is given a “covenant of shalom” and his descendants “a covenant of an everlasting priesthood.” Numbers 25:12-13 (everlasting) Check out that word in Hebrew: “olam”
Phinehas is even remembered in song (remember how Israel often uses songs to remember and teach their history).
Psa 106:28-31 KJV 28 They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. 29 Thus they provoked [him] to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them. 30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and [so] the plague was stayed. 31 And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.
Sometimes, it just takes one person standing up for what is right to atone a multitude of wrongs.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!