Monday July 20, 2020

Today’s Reading: Numbers 24:1-13

“If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go against the Lord’s command, to do [anything] good or bad of my own will? I will say whatever the Lord says.”

Numbers 24:13

Meditation: We must proclaim the Word that God reveals to us. The prophet Balaam, when told by the King Balak to put a curse on Israel, instead blesses it at God’s command. Balak wants so much for Israel to be cursed by God’s prophet that He promises Balaam a rich reward if he declares a curse upon the nation. All Balaam has to do is stretch his hands out toward the city and comply with what Balak wants.

But someone else is also directing the prophet Balaam: the Almighty God. When looking out over the city in the presence of King Balak, Balaam receives a message of blessing upon Israel which comes directly from the Spirit of God. And so, Balaam proclaims blessing over Israel just as he has received it. Balaam then says to King Balak that even if he were to be promised a house made of silver and gold, he could not go against what God commanded him to say.

As believers in Christ, we may easily recall times of being tempted against speaking God’s truth perhaps by threat of persecution, lack of boldness, or uncertainty in faith. There is another kind of temptation we face, which is the temptation to speak lies on behalf of God. We may be persuaded to omit parts of God’s Truth that He is directing us to convey, or give an altogether different message and proclaim it as God’s Word. This temptation is dangerous. As the prophet Balaam’s words are powerful, so are the words we utter on behalf of God. Balaam knows that his words will either bless or curse God’s beloved nation, and in the presence of a king shows his loyalty to the true King of Heaven and Earth. Our words, too, can lead to either life or death for others, and can only bless and nurture if they are guided by God.

Do you have boldness to speak God’s Word like Balaam? In the presence of temptation to trust in your own assessment of any given situation, to comply with the desires of others around you, or to speak for God before first consulting with Him, be encouraged today and always to heed the prophet’s example. Be empowered to not go against the LORD’s command, but instead say whatever our LORD says.

Prayer: Omnipotent God, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Thank You for transforming my life by Your Truth. Thank You for Your guidance in relaying Your Word to others. Strengthen me today, LORD, to say and do as You command. In the presence of temptation to stray from Your Will, keep my ears open to hearing the message You have prepared for me to share. Help me to heed Your calling, LORD. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Matthew 23:13-39; Numbers 23:27-24:25; Song of Solomon 5:2-6:3