Today's passage: Numbers 24
- After the first two oracles blessed Israel (Against the wishes of his employer) Balaam chose not to repeat the same events that appeared to lead to God's blessings. It didn't matter. God didn't need Balaam to do anything to bless Israel. God is in control.
- In verse 9, the Abrahamic blessing is repeated (Genesis 12:3) now over 400 years after God originally communicate it to Abraham.
- The recounting of this blessing on Israel was a warning from God to Balaam and Balak, to curse Israel was to bring a curse on yourself.
- Balaam's fourth oracle appears to speak of the victories during the Davidic kingdom to come hundreds of years later.
- The final three prophetic promises in verses 20-24 give Israel assurances her new neighbors will not be victorious. Threatening powers in the region would fall. God was with Israel.
Questions to consider:
- From our perspective historically, God's promise to Abraham and his promise communicated through Balaam might feel pretty close. What can remembering that these promises were communicated over 400 years apart help us to learn about the faithfulness of God?
- What prevented Balak and Balaam from being able to curse Israel as they wanted? If God wants to bring something about, is there any way to prevent Him?
- What is God's ultimate plan for His people (Revelation 21:1-8)? How does one know they have this eternal life (1 John 5:11-12)? How can seeing our place in God's grand narrative help us to live with purpose and joy?