Numbers 22: 21–23: 30
God gave permission for Balaam to go with the men in yesterday’s passage but now He is angry with him for going? What gives? I think it is because of Balaam’s heart posture. In 2 Peter 2:15, Balaam’s character is described as “loving the wages of unrighteousness.” If that is where Balaam’s heart is then it makes sense that on the journey God is going to teach him about who He is and why Balaam should obey Him. God will teach us even through a talking donkey. If you have ever dealt with a donkey/horse/bovine you know how humbling dealing with them can be.
Balaam engages the pagan practices of sacrifice to try to summon God’s presence. We know, having just read Leviticus that if Balaam was really trying to worship God he would have gone down to the Israelites camp and asked Moses and the Levites to intervene. But because God is on the move here to protect the Israelites, He answers Balaam anyway, despite the useless sacrifices. I absolutely was laughing out loud this morning when Balak is like, “Well fine if you are not going to curse just go, but don’t bless them!”
Elizabeth has here baby and they name him John. Zechariah’s speech is restored and John grew up strong in the spirit. So guess what? Since those things came true (near predictions) we can take what Gabriel said about Mary having Jesus TO THE BANK!! It is going to happen. God even uses Zechariah to paint a more vivid picture of what John and Jesus will do in the coming years. The line, “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace,” really stood out to me. As I sit here and write this the sun has just come up over my neighbor’s house. The light is truly beautiful and I feel in my soul how it saved me from the shadow of death.
Psalm 58: 1-11
If you have been truly victimized on this earth, take comfort in this psalm because you can trust the God will not let injustice go unpunished in the end. It is God’s fight and He always wins.
Proverbs 11: 12-13
I am really seeing how much power there is in our words. We can build up our community or tear it down by what we choose to share. I think we could all stand to share less, and listen more.