Archive for the ‘God’s WIll’ Category

Hearken… TO DO Them – part 1

(Deuteronomy 4:1-14)

Deuteronomy 4:1 “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.”

God in this passage demands our diligent attention to His Word and our diligence in doing His Word in our life. God wants us to be attentive to the reading, preaching, and teaching of His Word whenever it occurs. God is reminding us of His authority over us and our obligation as His children, if we are saved, to be living out and doing the Word of God with our life.

INTRODUCTION: “Hearken….to do them” – Moses having laid before the Israelites the law and teachings of the Lord for their nation, calls upon the whole assembly, in the most earnest and serious manner, to consider what influence these teachings and laws ought to have upon their conduct and practice. He tells them here, that doing the Word of God should render them punctually obedient to the laws of God, and very cautious and wary of offending Him, either by the addition to His Word by works, ceremonies, superstitious rites or the flat-out altering of His Word. Moses is teaching here that the absolute condition of their peaceful and happy enjoyment of their life lies in how they respond to, and live out the Word of God with their life. In our text, Moses emphasizes the importance of doing the law of the Lord that had already been poorly kept by this new generation.

WHY DO THEM? – “That ye may live” (4:1) – Jesus’ words serve as an appropriate consideration about doing the Word of God in our life.  John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” True love for our Lord listens to the grave warning given by Moses: to be careful! We must watch our souls with all diligence our entire lives. It is not a blind obedience. Moses is about to teach them. So why do them?

  • Because – Understanding is necessary if obedience is to be rendered. God’s authority is given in the context of education with a view to application, as God’s servant, Moses, will teach so that they may do. Just hearing the law is not sufficient. Hearing must be in order to do or live out our knowledge in actual practice in our life.
  • Because – Though culture may tell us to talk, dress, and conduct ourselves one way, hearts that truly love the Lord seek to influence the culture with His ways. We must not allow culture to overcome God’s Word in our hearts as it did with Israel! If we will take care to remember the fear of the Lord our entire lives, we will be further reminded of the importance of not growing slack.
  • Because – The Word of the Lord is not a burdensome thing to keep. His ways are full of life. When His statutes teach us His wisdom, it provides the opportunity for others to see and hear of the Lord’s wisdom. How merciful is our Lord to always grant forgiveness to those who are repentant. May we learn a greater passion for doing the statutes of our Lord. (Colossians 3:23 – And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;)

WE ARE COMMANDED NOT TO ALTER THE WORD OF GOD. “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it…” (4:2 – Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.)Why are we commanded not to change the Word of God?

  • Because – We need the pure and complete Word of God so we know how to live and worship God the right way.
  • Because – We can see what happens to those in the past that have not “hearken…. to do” the will and Word of God. (4:3)
  • Because – The Law of God is the ultimate Authority – and it is the ultimate source of our freedom. With law there is also to be order. The two go together. The structured authority entailed in the legal codes in our society is what attempts to gives us harmony and peace. There is a connection we often overlook between authority and freedom. It is the authority of the law of the land which prescribes and protects our freedom. For there to be freedom, there must be authority. The same holds true in our spiritual life, for there to be freedom from the bondage of sin there must be an authority acknowledged in our life and there must be laws and teachings (the Bible) that we live our life by.
  • Because – Our life depends on us obeying and doing the will of God with our life. In verse 3 Moses uses the incident at Baal Peor (Numbers 25:1-9) to illustrate from the Israelites own history that their very lives depended on obeying and doing the Word of God. Only those who hold fast the Word of God with their life will live the blessed filled life God has planned for them. (II Timothy 1:13 – Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.)

WE NEED TO CLEAVE UNTO THE LORD (4:4 – But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.) – Those that rejected God’s authority were denied the freedom of the land. They died as slaves to their own unbelief. But despite their unbelief, God was still going to be faithful to His promise.

  • Central to our understanding of freedom, to living the lives God desires of us, to enjoying all the benefits of life, it is crucial that we hear, follow, and do the decrees and laws of God. God has not left us in the dark to determine how we are to live. We are not bound to an eternity of determining what is right and wrong. We are free from the pursuit of seeking God, for He has sought us and told us who He is and what He desires of us. His authority revealed in His law is our freedom.
  • How do you cleave unto the Lord? – By loving His Word, by doing His Word. The Word of God is our life as Christians, and obeying God’s Word keeps us in fellowship with Him. God’s people need to be careful about not becoming too friendly with the world; this can lead to loving the world, letting ourselves be molded by the standards and wickedness of the world. This kind of lifestyle lived out by a Christian invites the chastening of the Lord into their life. (Hebrews 10:30-31 – For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.)
  • We need to be cleavers to the Word of God and not leavers of the Word of God and its teachings.

WE NEED TO LIVE OUT THE KNOWLEDGE WE HAVE ABOUT GOD IN OUR LIFE AND DO IT. (4:5-6 – Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.) Why do we need to do this?

  • Because – we have been taught it and commanded to do so by God.
  • Because – it will help lead you to wisdom and understanding. (4:6a)
  • Because – living out and doing the Word of God will give you a good reputation to those around you.(4:6b)
  • Because – Time is short. There is an important reminder in these verses for us, with regard to the authority of God’s Law, with respect to those who have heard and are following God’s commands and those who are not.
  • Because – Of the twofold benefit that happens when we are obedient to God. Our obedience shows wisdom and understanding. When others see that, they see the character of God. Wisdom is found in conformity to God’s authority. We get the benefit of being seen to possess wisdom and understanding, and God gets the benefit of a good Christian testimony on display for others to see and for God to use as a tool to help bring others to Him.

CONCLUSION: Deuteronomy 4:14 “And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.” We need to always be doing the will of God. We need to learn His Word, learn His teachings, learn His principles, and we need to keep all that we have learned and to do what we know.

Moses’ encouragement to Israel is to make sure they listen closely to the statutes and rules he commands them. They must remember to obey with exactness. This should not be confused with perfect law keeping. The entire reason the Mosaic sacrificial system was in place was to cover the sins of the people. Moses’ specific concern is seen in verse two. He does not want them to add to or take from the command of the Lord. Why is it so important that they keep the entire law in this way? Notice verse one. It is so they can continue to have life and take possession of the promised land. We too can take possession of the promised land God has planned for us. We, as the Lord instructed the Israelites to do, must do the Word of God in our life. We must live it out, keep it, know it and share it with others. Then by doing so we will open up our lives to see the promised life God has planned for His obedient children.

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It is a commendable thing for one to desire to preach the gospel. Yet not everyone should preach or can preach according to the Bible. James wrote, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.James 3:1. Preaching the gospel and handling the Word of God in a public speaking setting is a very serious matter. It takes a person who is serious about the task and it should not be taken to lightly.

How does one who has a desire to preach become qualified to preach the gospel? Many denominations require that their preachers (or pastors/ministers) complete some sort of training at a college or seminary. There is nothing wrong with getting training to preach the Gospel at a Bible college, in fact I would recommend it; but if we really want to know what to expect of one who desires to preach the Word of God, shouldn’t we then just examine the Word of God for what it says on the subject? The New Testament provides us with a description of a person who is qualified to preach the gospel.

**** Disclaimer: In talking about this, I am in no way referring to all teaching that a Christian might do. All of us can teach in some capacity (1 Peter 3:15). We are all responsible to do what we can with the opportunities we are given. We are all responsible to fulfill the Great Commission in the best and most efficient way we can (Matthew 28:19-20Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.) But preaching the gospel is more than the teaching or sharing we might do in everyday situations. Preaching is the public, open proclamation of the Word of God. It is the type of preaching for which one may be financially compensated and the type of which one should have a clear calling to do, a calling the Bible tells us is never repented of (I Corinthians 9:14 – Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. & Romans 11:29 – For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.). Having a clearer picture of what we are trying to determine, we can get into our question: Who is qualified to preach the gospel? ****

A PREACHER MUST (according to the Bible):

Be a man – Today we see more and more women ascending to leadership roles in churches. Yet the New Testament clearly and unequivocally prohibits this. Paul wrote, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” I Timothy 2:11-12. He told the believers in Corinth, “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.I Corinthians 14:34-35. This is not to say that women are inferior. It is rather simply to say that God has placed the responsibility of preaching the gospel upon the shoulders of men and not of women.

We could also look at this requirement in a different light. A gospel preacher must be a man, but simply being a male does not qualify one to preach. He must also act like a man, as Paul told the Corinthians to do I Corinthians 16:13 “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” This involves maturity, discipline and the willingness to endure the hardships or push back from what is preached and not waver in their convictions on the Word of God II Timothy 4:5 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

Know the word – Paul instructed young Timothy to “preach the word” in II Timothy 4:2. It is a simple thought and qualification – one must know the Word before he can preach the word. We must speak “as the oracles of God I Peter 4:11. The only way this can be done is to know the Word. The apostles were guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13 – Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.), but not everyone was guided as directly as they were. Timothy was told to study in order to learn how to accurately handle the Word of God (II Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.). This is what we all must do, what we all need to do, and that is study the Words of God revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and put down for all eternity onto the pages of the Bible.  One who wants to preach, one who feels a God implanted desire to preach must know the Word of which he is to be preaching. He must be a diligent student of the Word of God, He must also have a deep respect for the Word of God.

Be loyal to Christ – Paul said he could not serve Christ while trying to please men (Galatians 1:10 – For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.). Yet some seem to be loyal to other preachers or groups, we need to be loyal to Christ; nothing wrong with fellowshipping with or having respect for other preachers and groups, but our loyalty belongs to Christ and His Word.  This misplaced loyalty leads them to ignore the sins and errors of these men. We can see this with the different reactions of Peter and Paul to the party of the circumcision (Galatians 2:11-14). Those of the circumcision were a group of Jewish Christians who taught that Gentiles must be circumcised and taught to keep the Old Testament Law. Peter feared them (Galatians 2:12) and did not expose them. As a result he led others into sin (Galatians 2:13) and he himself “was to be blamed” (Galatians 2:11). Paul, on the other hand, openly confronted Peter for his sin (Galatians 2:11) and exposed the false teachers (Galatians 2:4-5; 5:2-4). If one desires to preach, he must be loyal to Christ above all others.

Be ready to preach – All Christians should be ready with an answer for the hope that is in us (I Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:), but this readiness needs to be especially true for preachers. Because God called preachers have a greater responsibility (James 3:1). Paul told the saints in Rome “I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.” (Romans 1:15). A gospel preacher must be ready to do what Paul did, preach or “declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). Preachers today must be ready to do the same. They must teach the whole of God’s Word, even the parts that others find unpopular, controversial, difficult or that go against long held traditions of men. Will a preacher necessarily have all the answers on every topic? No, of course not, but a preacher must be willing and able to study to find the answers he does not yet know when the question arises. A man qualified to preach the gospel must be willing and able to preach whatever is revealed in God’s word.

Be humble – A preacher is supposed to be trying to draw others to Christ and not to himself. Paul told the Corinthians he worked diligently to win them to Christ (II Corinthians 11:2). A Preacher must be trying to show others truth and not simply trying to win arguments. A preachers responsibility is to lead others to accept the truth. Humility is also necessary because a preacher must be able to realize that he could be wrong. We are all fallible humans; you are and preachers are, non preachers need to keep that in mind. Though a preacher may strive for perfection, in the end he is human just like everyone else. If a man cannot admit mistakes, or weaknesses then he is not fit to preach the gospel.

Not hinder the gospel – A preacher must not live in such a way so as to cause a hindrance to the gospel. Paul told the Corinthians, “but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.” (I Corinthians 9:12). He must live blamelessly and uprightly, “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:” (II Corinthians 6:3).

SOME THINK A PREACHER MUST (according to man or tradition):

Must be an excellent speaker –Many want a preacher to be or think a preacher should be someone who speaks eloquently. This is not what the Bible puts emphasis on though and we should not put emphasis on it either. The emphasis should not be on the delivery of the message but rather the message itself. What someone should be looking out for is does he preach the Word, does he have a good working knowledge of Scripture, does he do a good job of explaining and teaching the Bible? These things are more important then if he is a good orator or not. The Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 2:1-2 about this “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Must be formally educated – There are many good Bible colleges out there. Many churches make it a prerequisite that their Pastor, or someone on their Pastoral  staff, have certain types of degrees from certain preferred and approved, by them, schools. This is never required, or even hinted at, in the New Testament. We cannot require more than God does. And we must not think less of men who have not had such training. The Apostle Paul did not follow Jesus around and see His example and hear His teaching while He was living on the earth as the other apostles did. Even so, he was “not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.” II Corinthians 11:5.

Must be popular – This seems to be necessary, at least for one to preach at a larger congregation. But were any of the apostles popular? How about Jesus? Was He popular with the people? On the contrary, by popular opinion, the people demanded His crucifixion (Matthew 27:20-23). Popularity is not the proper way to gauge the worthiness of one to preach the gospel.

Must not be divorcedA divorced man can preach the Gospel if the divorce was a biblical one and he is otherwise qualified. You will not find one verse in the Bible that says otherwise. If you think you have you are guilty of inserting your own man made exception clause into the Word of God while ignoring the exception clause given to us by God in His Word (Matthew 5:32 & Matthew 19:9). The Bible must agree as a whole to all other parts of the Bible. If your interpretation of one part of the Bible disagrees with a clear passage in another part of the Bible, then you my friend have a wrong interpretation of that particular passage. Dr. C.I. Scofield used to say “Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one.” If your thoughts don’t agree with the Bible on a particular subject, then repent of your thoughts, if your traditions you adhere to do not agree with the Bible on a particular subject, then repent of your traditions and go with the Bible. You will be right every time.

IN CONCLUSION:

We have looked to the New Testament to see what God’s Word says about the requirements of a gospel preacher. In short, he must be able to present the Lord’s message in its entirety, in its purity, regardless of the situation or opposition, in humility, and without distracting from it. One who is able to do these things and is called by God to do so should make a good gospel preacher, as long as he keeps himself right with God, even if he may not meet all of man’s requirements. One who is not able to meet the Biblical requirements, even though they meet mans requirement, should abstain from preaching until he meets the Biblical requirements. After all, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” James 3:1.

***This is part 5 of a 6 part blog series on Racism, the World & the Bible***

THE BIBLE & RACE EXAMINED

THE OLD TESTAMENT AND RACE – The children of Israel would encounter different peoples and ethnicity’s with different customs and beliefs. The Israelite’s were to avoid making treaties or covenants with foreign people. They were forbidden to go into a marriage with non-Jewish people. (Deuteronomy 7:2-3 – And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.) – People will try to make a blanket statement about this and say “see the Bible is racist because it is against interracial marriages” – Well that is not exactly what this passage is saying, and that would be taking this verse out of it’s immediate context. The reason why God commanded them not to intermarry with the people of the land is found in the next verse Deuteronomy 7:4For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.” – God commanded the Israelite’s not to enter into marriages with non-Jews to protect them from idolatry and to keep them from the influence of pagan beliefs. Basically it was a command to not marry an unbeliever. We have this same command today in the New Testament and in no way is this command racist.  (II Corinthians 6:14 – Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?) – There is a danger in picking one verse and trying to interpret it outside of its contextual basis. This is how false beliefs and cults get their beginning. When reading, studying and interpreting what the Bible says, always look at verses in their context and use other scripture to help interpret scripture. Dr. C.I. Scofield had this to say about Scriptures and context “Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one; and never use an (if) to contradict a (verily).”

THE NEW TESTAMENT AND RACE (Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.) – The Great Commission clearly teaches what the New Testament and Christ is trying to convey, and that is all peoples of the earth are equally valued by God, equally loved by God and equally died for by Jesus on the cross.

Pentecost in Acts 2 shows us the worldwide, multi-ethnically, multi-cultural scope of the gospel of Christ. It is equally for all tribes and nations of the world. Peter in Acts 10 with his vision to go to the Gentiles with the Gospel, shows that God was making no distinction between Jew and Gentile. Jesus wanted all to believe on Him and accept His payment of their sin with His shed blood so they could go to Heaven one day. (Colossians 1:14 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins). Phillip preached to the Samaritans and opened the Scriptures with a man from Ethiopia (Acts 8:27a And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia…). Paul in I Corinthians 12 describes a very diverse first century church. While Jesus wants all peoples from all cultures to be saved. One must recognize if there are things in ones culture that are unbiblical, and then to get those aspects of your culture out of your life. We need to go by what God says and use His word as our supreme authority in our life; other cultural concerns should be secondary to Biblical truths and teachings. To God and the Bible all races, all ethnicity’s, all cultures, all colors, and all lives matter equally.

Related Links:

RACISM, THE WORLD & THE BIBLE: Part-1

RACISM, THE WORLD & THE BIBLE: Part-2: DARWIN & RACISM

RACISM, THE WORLD & THE BIBLE: Part-3: Racism & Abortion

RACISM, THE WORLD & THE BIBLE: Part 4: One Race

BALAAM AND TODAY’S CHURCHThe account of Balaam in the Old Testament serves as a warning to today’s church to not disobey God; to build up our faith and to build up our hope. (Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.)

the way of Balaam (II Peter 2:15-16) – In this passage Peter is warning the church of the dangers of false teachers secretly entering the church and leading people astray into apostasy. Peter promises that God will judge these people; but he also warns believers to exercise spiritual discernment to make sure they are not led astray by these false teachers. (II Peter 2:15-16 – Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.)·

the way of Balaam – is the way of false prophets and hirelings seeking opportunities to increase wealth and reputation, willing to sell out anything for filthy lucre’s sake (for monetary gain). These false prophets and teachers are interested in satisfying their own worldly cravings of money and using the guise of religion to do so and to entice people into sin. (John 10:11-13 –  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.)

A hireling does not really care about being a “good shepherd” watching out for his flock, but instead is more concerned with protecting his reputation, position and income stream. A true under shepherd and not a hireling will work at guarding the flock against wolves from within (Acts 20:30 – Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.) and wolves from without (Acts 20:29 – For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.) no matter the cost to his reputation, position or income.

Now to look in the mirror, when are we walking in “the way of Balaam” in our life? – When we deliberately rebel against the revealed will of God and try to change it to our liking. When we have selfish motives in doing “religious things”. When we cause others to sin so we can profit from it. When we do “religious work” for the money and not because God called us to it. When we volunteer to help out in a ministry so we will look good to others. When are only motivation for doing something “for God” is a feeling of we have to, so we can look like a “good Christian” to others; instead of doing things for God out of a desire to please Him, serve Him and worship Him.

So the challenge is to search out our hearts and our core motives for everything we do that is supposed to be for God; and then making sure we are actually doing it for God. This will require us to be honest with ourselves. Challenge yourself to do this self examination. Make sure what you are doing for the Lord will be gold, silver and precious stones tried in a fiery furnace and not just wood hay and stubble that will be burned up and consumed as worthless because of our wrong motivations. (I Corinthians 3:12-15 – Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.)

RELATED POSTS:

The Doctrine of Balaam & Wordly Christians

Balaam and God’s Will

 

BALAAM & GOD’S WILL

BALAAM AND GOD’S WILL In the book of Numbers we find the account of a mysterious soothsayer named Balaam had a reputation for having success in divination (receiving hidden knowledge, especially about the future) and incantation (the use of occult demonic power to grant blessing’s or curses) and he was willing to sell his services for all who could pay him his fee.

Request of the King – The Moabites and Midianites were very frightened when they saw the size and scope of the Israelite people encamped near them and heard all the stories about Israel’s military victories thus far. (Numbers 22:4 – And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.) – So King Balak looks to hire Balaam to place a curse on the people of God encamped near him to protect him from their supposed threat; at this point Balak did not realize that God had told Israel not to attack Moab because the Moabites were relatives of the Jews, descended through Lot, Abraham’s nephew. (Deuteronomy 2:9 – And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.)·

Balaam must have had a wide reputation of his abilities in successfully practicing the occult arts for a King to have searched him out in spite of the distance and the price. We all have a reputation. What is your reputation like? What are you know for?

King Balak was hoping to influence Balaam into cursing the children of Israel, and by such a curse protect him and his kingdom from their attack. He hoped to convince Balaam to help him by the impressive dignitaries he sent calling on him and the price he was willing to pay him for his services. This shows us a great weakness of character on Balaam’s part.  Balaam loved money and he was willing to do just about anything to get it. What about you? Is money or financial gain your God? (I Timothy 6:10 –    For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.)

Balak had Balaam figured right. Balaam was a hireling of the worst kind. Interested mainly in money. Balaam used deception to try to get his way around issues and problems to fulfill his ultimate goal of self enrichment. Balaam would use pious Godly sounding talk; all the while in his heart he was coveting material gain.·

Balaam was determined to do his own will and not God’s will. (Numbers 22:20 – And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.) – Notice what God said here “If the men come to call thee” then Balaam was to go. Now look at verse 21 what Balaam actually did “And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.” – He took it upon himself to get up and go. He did not do as the Lord instructed, he did not wait on the Lord, and he took the situation into his own hand and by his own wisdom determined it was in his own best monetary interests to not wait on the Lord but to act on his own. Now examine yourself. Are you more interested in God’s will or your own will?

Resistance of a donkey – God was angry at Balaam for defying His will and direction and allowing his love of money to be the controlling factor in his life. You may sometimes hear the phrase “dumb animals” – but in this case it was the human who was “dumb” and the animal was the smart and wise one. (Numbers 22:22 – And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.)·

His donkey saw something that Balaam did not and turned aside to save Balaam’s life. Balaam’s anger was kindled against the donkey and the Bible says he struck him over it. (Numbers 22:23 – And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.)·

Two more times the donkey sees the Angel of the Lord with his sword drawn and two more times the donkey does what it can to avoid him and saves Balaam’s life. Two more times Balaam gets enraged at the donkey because of it. One of the times by the donkey avoiding the angel, Balaam’s leg gets crushed, when the donkey swerved out of the way. (Numbers 22:24-27 – But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.) Balaam was so angry with the donkey at this point, had he been armed he would have killed his faithful animal. The Apostle Peter called it madness. (II Peter 2:16 – But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.)· Sin in our life has a way of blinding us to other things in our life. Sin can keep us from seeing the efforts of others, motivated by their love for us, to keep us from harm or to keep us from harming ourselves as a result of that sin.

A unique conversation takes place. (Numbers 22:28-31 – And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.) So why wasn’t Balaam shocked when his donkey spoke to him? – Perhaps Satan had used Demons to speak to Balaam in the past through animals speaking to him.  In any case a person has reached a very low point in his life when God has to use an animal like a donkey to communicate His mind to him.

Revelation of an angel (Numbers 22:32-33 – And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.) – As God opened the Donkey’s mouth to speak to Balaam He now opens Balaam’s eyes so he too can see the Angel of the Lord standing there with his sword drawn. Balaam fell on his face when he saw the angel and the angel told him how is donkey saved his life.·

The angel warned Balaam that he was rushing headlong and recklessly onto the wrong path that would only lead to his destruction and ruin. Many people today are on a similar path in their life. If we see people on this path it is our responsibility to shout out a warning to them; because it is only the truth of God that can free them and save them from destruction and ruin. (John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. & John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)·

I have sinned” – Just saying these words do not repentance make. Balaam said these words to the angel in Numbers 22:34 “And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.” – Pharaoh, King Saul and Judas Iscariot all uttered the same words but did not truly repent and turn to God with their life. Pharaoh in Exodus 9:27 “I have sinned “, King Saul in I Samuel 15:24 “I have sinned” and Judas Iscariot in Matthew 27:4 “I have sinned” – but they did not repent, they did not accept God by faith. ·

MAKE SURE YOU ARE REALLY SAVED – Don’t be guilty of saying the right sounding words but not really meaning them in your heart. It is possible to acknowledge you are a sinner but not repent and turn from your sins and turn to God. We need to acknowledge the fact we are a sinner but true salvation is more than that; it is also a turning from our sin and a turning to God by faith in the saving power of Jesus blood. Salvation comes by trusting in the fact that the shed blood of Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and accepting His free gift of a payment in full on our behalf. Salvation is getting something for nothing; it is getting eternal life, that you can never lose, in exchange for nothing from us but our child like faith in Jesus. (Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. & Romans 10:9,10 & 13 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.) – If you have more questions about salvation please click on this link: KNOW FOR SURE YOU ARE ON YOU WAY TO HEAVEN

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