A Worshipful Journey Through the Book of Numbers
Four hundred years of compromise, sin, suffering and darkness at the hands of evil authorities. Israel’s only way to be healed is to come out of slavery and into the freedom of the Lord’s authority. Picture yourself when reading of Israel. As you follow our study through the often overlooked book of Numbers, you will see how God rehabilitates and frees broken people.
Day 19: The Enemy
Up until this point, the narrative of Numbers, as it traces Israel’s journey to the Promised Land, has kept its focus primarily upon God’s working in and through Israel. In the ensuing chapters (22-24) the focus shifts and begins to detail what transpired amongst Israel’s enemies. In Numbers 22-24 the camera zooms out and pans left to capture what was going on in the nation of Moab.
Appearing in the short record of the following few chapters, there are four major characters introduced to God’s story: Balak—the King of Moab, the Messengers, Balaam—the Spiritist, and the Moabite Princes.
Balak was an opposing power to the people of Israel and to God, and as the antagonist character within the story, he is pitted in comparison against the leadership style of Moses. Balak was the overseer of his people. He led them in similar fashion to how Moses led Israel. He was entrusted to lead and protect his people. As Moses sought his direction from the LORD, Balak sought out the guidance of evil sources. He was an evil king. Though Moses was a very meek and humble leader who led in righteousness and drew from a holy and powerful source in Yaweh, Balak was a man of pride and wicked intent.
Balak’s thinking in regard to himself was filled up with idle notions of his own power and ownership of the land. He fell prey to the belief that everything was his. In Numbers 22:6 his view of himself grew so detached from reality that he claimed for himself and his nation the promises that God made to Abraham and Israel. He believed that God was on his side to bless all those he blessed and to curse all those he cursed. He acted on this false belief and assumption not only in thought but also in action.
Consider through your reading God’s omnipresence! He’s as present with his enemies as he is with his people. Consider also how Balak’s kingdom reflects the kingdom of evil and its pride that wars against God and his people. Satan’s rule has real kings (like Balak), real false prophets (like Balaam), real princes, and real messengers and missionaries. Be encouraged as you read this passage to consider God’s sovereign control over all things, even everything evil.
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