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Obedience: Numbers 22

And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three thimes? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.” Numbers 22:32, 33 ESV

Reading through Numbers 22 has been confusing to so many people over the years. It would seem that God gave permission to Balak to go with the princes the second time, which he did. But when Balak chose to go it kindled the anger of the LORD against him, why? Well we can see from scripture that God is the same yesterday today and forever more (see Hebrews 13:8). He told Balak that he didn’t want him to go with the princes back to Balaam, because Israel was blessed and the only thing Balaam wanted him to do was curse them. God had his mind set on what he wanted Balak to do.

“But my people did not listen to my voice…would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.” (Psalm 81:11-12 ESV) Balak came back to the LORD hoping to persuade him to let him go, because Balaks heart was twisted against the LORD. The bible clearly states that God gives us a command and we are to follow it. If we choose not to God has no choice but to give us over to the devices of our own heart and stubbornly do what we want. This is what Balak did. Even though God clearly said that he could go with the princes, God didn’t say it because he had changed his mind. He was giving Balak over to his own stubborn heart. Balak had already decided to go with the princes, he just wanted God’s blessing along the way.

But God’s plan for us is different; he would that we serve him so that he can bless us (See Psalm 81:13-16). God has wonderful things in store for us: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (Isaiah 64:4, 1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV). You are so precious to him, and he desires to bless you. Walk in obedience, because he has only good planned for you. When all else fails God still remains.

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