Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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June 15 – God’s People Are Blessed

“And God came to Balaam and said, ‘Who are these men with you?’  And Balaam said to God, ‘Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Now come, curse them for me.” Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out.’  God said to Balaam, ‘You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.’  So “And God came to Balaam and said, ‘Who are these men with you?’  And Balaam said to Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, ‘Go to your own land, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you.’ Numbers 22:9-13

Devotional Thought For The Day

The account of Balaam and Balak [which continues on past these verses] is highly fascinating – and especially Balaam’s relationship with God and His Word, and the inner dynamics of his spirituality.  Not everything is explained clearly in this account, how Balaam came to know God, why God would speak to him, how Balaam could converse with God and yet continue to be tempted with the thought that he might somehow be able to make a huge profit by staying with the Moabites and cursing the children of Israel. Subsequently, Balaam is killed in the wars of conquest and identified as a very clever and creepy influence for evil among the children of Israel [Num. 31].

Balaam thus becomes an example in Scripture of those who know better, who know God’s power and might and His Word, and yet who continue to reject, disbelieve, and tamper with God’s Word, who dabble in and consult with the occult, and who exert perverse influence among God’s people – motivated always by personal profit, what financial gain or prestige might be had. All of this is quite inexplicable – how Balaam could squander the opportunity to be a loving child of God by remaining among the Moabites, and taking his stand in opposition to the children of God and against God Himself, Who always seeks the blessing and good of His dear children of faith.

It is no different to this day – whether leaders of false religions, cults, and sects, or those who have infiltrated the church principally for purposes of financial gain, for the sake of personal prestige, or even to pervert God’s people by corrupting the influence of His Word among them.  Again, it is inexplicable and astonishing how someone can be that close to God’s Word, have all of the evidence of God’s power, presence, and love for His children right at hand, and still choose to reject faith and reverence for God, and to pervert and corrupt faith and decency among people whom God loves and has blessed.

In that it is an incorrigible aspect of our fallen sinful nature to always calculate personal gain and advantage, this is a temptation that is common to all of us. As we consider the redemption and salvation won for us by Christ, and the wondrous promises of blessing God has provided for us regarding the life of His children yet to come in glory, we must be won away from selfish considerations, and come to abhor all perversions of God’s Word and all corruptions of faith and morality. Though faithfulness may not be of advantage in regard to earthly treasures and comforts, it certainly pays dividends in the end, in the coming age. And those who truly know God and His love come to understand the much greater blessedness of suffering loss for the sake of God and His kingdom of love. For those who know and believe God’s love for us in Christ Jesus, the inner dynamics of someone like Balaam remain tragic and inexplicable.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, You chose a Balaam to be among Your inner circle of disciples – Judas Iscariot. His inner spiritual life and unbelief are also puzzling and inexplicable to us.  Yet we do understand selfishness, greed, and the desire to be prestigious and influential. Forbid Lord, that we ever allow anything to cloud our vision of Your love and Your power, and to lure us away from complete faithfulness to Your Word and into the darkness of Balaam and Judas. Amen.