Numbers 24:1-25:18, Luke 2:1-35, Psalms 59:1-17, Proverbs 11:14
Today is the 16th day of March welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian and it is wonderful to be here with you today, wonderful to be around the Global Campfire gathering and taking another step forward together. And our next step forward will lead us back into the book of Numbers and back into the story of Moab’s king Balak and Balaam who has been invited to curse the Israelites on behalf of Moab, which he hasn’t been able to do. And, so, we pick up the story. Numbers chapters 24 and 25 today.
Okay. So, we have gotten through this…this drama with Moab’s king Balak and this prophetic voice, this person who can bless and curse named Balaam who was sent for to come and curse the children of Israel out in the wilderness. Because the children of Israel have been wandering around in the wilderness as we know, and that is causing disruption in the nations surrounding them. No nation will let them pass through to get somewhere else. So, they’re kind of out in the wilderness until finally they get attacked. And they win. And, so, they have some territory that they’re settling into, but it happens to be right next to Moab. So, this place is Moab. They’re freaking out about this people moving in, which is why Balaam is summoned in the first place. Come here and see this people out in the wilderness and curse them for me, they’re too strong for me, they’re moving in next to me. We’ve got to do something about them. And, so, Balaam is summoned and Ballam consults the Lord about what he should do. And the Lord tells him, don’t go. Like, I’m not in this. Don’t go. And, so, he comes and tells the people I can’t go. The Lord won’t let me go. And, so, the officials of Moab went back to king Balak and said Balaam…Balaam refuses to come. The Lord won’t let him come. So, king Balak sends more officials, more high-ranking officials back to Balaam and tells Balaam again, the king Balak needs you to come at once with us right now. And Balaam’s like…I mean..I…I already had emissaries sent from Balak and I already gave my answer, but spend the night here and I’ll go talk to the Lord and see what the Lord says. And, so, Balaam goes before the Lord again and God speaks to Balaam again and says go with them this time. Go with them but do only what I tell you to do. And we can read the story and go, man, that’s redundant. What? Like why not just tell him that in the first place the first time the people came to get him? Why does he take this second trip? And now why was he not allowed on the first trip, but he is allowed on the second trip? We were able to get glimpses and see why. God was impressing upon Balaam there’s nothing else for you to do here but exactly what I tell you to do and you need to do exactly what you are instructed to do. There is no wiggle room here. What we end up noticing is that Balaam’s looking for wiggle room. So, it’s almost as if Balaam is like…well…I couldn’t go but now I can. And, so, maybe there is opportunity here. And, so, God reiterates, you have nothing to do but what I tell you to do. So, the next morning Balaam gets up and he leaves with all the people and is riding on his donkey and there’s an angel of the Lord following along and stands in the road blocking the path. And, so, the donkey turns into a field when it sees…when he sees the angel. And they continue on a little bit more then the angel is front of the donkey and the donkey can see it but Balaam cannot see it. And the angel’s blocking a pathway into a vineyard. And, so, the donkey’s trying to get around the angel, but in the process kind of scratches Balaam’s leg against the wall. So, Balaam gets mad. He starts beating the donkey. And they got on a little bit more and then the angel blocks the path altogether. There’s nowhere for the donkey to maneuver. And, so, the donkey just lays down underneath Balaam who is serious and begins to beat the donkey some more. And that is when the talking…talking donkey happens. That’s when the mouth of the donkey is opened. What have I done to you? Why would you hit me these three times? And then Balaam reveals his heart. First of all, he responds to the donkey. Like, he’s so angry. The donkey is talking to him and he’s talking back. He’s not struck silent. He’s not freaking out that he’s talking to a donkey. He’s just angry. So, he’s answering back to the donkey I’d kill you. Like, if I had a sword, I would kill you. And why is Balaam so mad? I quote, “because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand. I would kill you right now.” That is very revealing and goes right down into the heart of Balaam and his motives. He doesn’t want to look like a fool. He doesn’t want to be made of. Even though he’s been instructed that he can only say what God has told him to say he’s also very worried about the optics, what this looks like. He doesn’t want to look like a fool. That’s when Balaam’s eyes are opened, and he sees the angel and the point is made. Balaam you have a job to do. Nothing more, nothing less, exactly what I tell you to say, nothing else. And Balaam seems to have gotten the message because he’s like look, if you want me to go home, I’ll go home. I didn’t know there was an angel here. But God reiterates, “go with the man but speak only what I tell you to speak.” And, so, Balaam does get to Balak. Balak is like, why didn’t you come the first time and all of that. And Balaam has got the message loud and clear. I can only do what I’m told to do. And, so, there are offerings offered on altars and Balaam looks at the children of Israel and seeks the Lord and comes back and essentially says, I cannot curse these people they are blessed by God. Balak doesn’t take kindly to that. I brought you here to curse my enemies. You’re doing nothing but blessing them. And Balaam’s like, I…I can only say what I’m allowed to say. And, so, we see Balak doing something really interesting. Come with me to another place and you can look at the children of Israel from this other place and maybe God will let you curse them from there. And, so, they do that. More offerings, more sacrifices, more seeking the Lord. There is nothing but blessing for Israel. And, so, king Balak is like, don’t bless them. If you can’t curse them don’t bless them. Just don’t do anything. And then Balak says, let’s go to another place. Maybe…maybe you can…maybe God will let you curse them from there. Of course, the Lord won’t curse His chosen people. He will only bless them, which is what happens in the end. But there are so many lessons for us. We can seek God. We can get a no. We can seek God again and maybe He says, okay. Yes. But only what I told you. And we can very easily forget about all that. We can just think, yes, I got a yes, I got a yes. I’m off to the races. I’m off to do the thing that I wanted to do. I got a yes. But then we can get into a situation where we feel foolish, or we feel condemned or we feel whatever we feel and we want to change the script because of what it’s going to make us look like or we can find ourselves in king Balak wants his enemies cursed. You can send for a professional to do it, and the professional comes and says there is no curse for this people only blessing. And, so, what does Balak do? Like here…let's…let’s go over here and look at this whole thing from another angle. Let’s see what the Lord has to say from this other angle. Of course, it’s only blessing and not cursing. And, so, what does Balak do? Well…let’s…let’s go over here to this other place. Let’s look at it from this angle. Maybe from this angle, the Lord will change His mind. We do the same kinds of things. We try to force through what it is that we want even though we may look like fools in the end. And what we’re watching is…well under normal circumstances, we would say this is very manipulative. It just so happens that in this case its manipulative…manipulation toward God. As if we wouldn’t do that too. And, so, there are some deep lessons about motives, the why we do what we do and what we’re willing to do to try to get what we want embedded in this story. The way that this particular drama ends is that Balaam can’t curse the children of Israel. Balak is displeased about it, but in the end Balaam just goes back home. Immediately following that story, we begin moving into how the people did cause the children of Israel to stumble and fall. They were not over calm by warfare in battle. Rather, they sent the women and began fraternizing and the people began going back and forth in intermingling and that led them to the place that God had warned them about. They were bowing down and giving their hearts in worship to the false God Baal. So, they could not defeat them with sword and shield and bow and arrow and sling, and whatever other warfare utensils that they were using. They chose a more seductive form of warfare and were successful. And we can think like, well Balaam didn’t have anything to do that but as we will see…and you’ll have to remember this story because we will come back to a very very short reference back to this time as we continue forward in the Scriptures, and we will find that on his way out it seems as if Balaam gave some advice. He couldn’t curse the children of Israel, but the suggestion of how they might defeat the children of Israel through seduction was planted and what we end up finding out is that Balaam ends up getting killed.
Father, it’s a disruptive story to go through but we have the whole story and we’ve spent the last few days moving through the story in the book of Numbers. And, so, it gives us pause to reflect. And as we place ourselves in the story and consider our thoughts, our motivations, our way of trying to finagle the things that we want, our way of looking for every vantage point to get what we want our way of just trying to…to live on the margins instead of under the shelter of Your wings it becomes apparent and we realize that we look at the story…it’s a pretty dramatic story and we can find ourselves there and it’s humbling. And, so, we ask for forgiveness, and we ask Your Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, that we might not find ourselves in a position that we’re willing to manipulate anyone, including You if we could, to get what we want. Come Holy Spirit into that we pray as we humble ourselves before You and declare once again, we are utterly dependent upon You. You are our source of life and when we look for a source outside of You, we are walking the wrong path for the wrong reasons with the wrong motivations. Set us aright we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is home base. That is certainly where you can find out what’s going on around here. So, check it out.
Check out the Daily Audio Bible Shop. There are resources…there are resources in the Shop in a number of different categories that are really all tailored for the journey that we are on just moving through the Bible in community together in a year. And, so, check that out.
Check out the Community section. Definitely get connected on social media. That’s where links are to get connected that way and that’s where the Prayer Wall is. So, check that out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio, if the mission to bring the spoken word of God read fresh every day and offered freely to anybody who will listen anywhere on this planet any time of day or night, and to build community around the rhythm of showing up every day, if that brings life and good news and hope and community into your world then thank you humbly for your partnership. There is a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com. If you’re using the app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner, or the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.
And, as always, if you have a prayer request or encouragement, you can certainly hit the Hotline button in the app. That’s the little red button up at the top or there are a number of numbers you can dial. In the Americas 877-942-4253 is the number to call. If you are in the UK or Europe 44-20-3608-8078 is the number to dial and if you are in Australia or that part of the world 61-3-8820-5459 is the number to call.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
On March 9th Sinai from PA called regarding her medical condition in which she said her brain was not allowing her legs to work. She was being transferred from a hospital to a longer-term care facility. At the same time she had to make the difficult decision of putting her mom in an assisted care facility. Her voice was worn and weary and tinged I’m sure with a little bit of fear. And I just want to lift her up to you dear Lord. Although Lord Sinai is in a very challenging place with her own health as well as responsibilities with her mother. Lord, we know that your desire is to mold us and shape us more into the image of your Son, our Jesus who exemplified every fruit of the spirit. And unfortunately, because I hate this fruit of the spirit this long-suffering. Obviously, I’m being facetious in that. But the long-suffering Lord, we know You are long-suffering in that we get to understand what it’s like to have Your heart to be hurt and crushed and broken and still press on. We move forward to love others, to keep relationship with You. So, Lord I left Siani up to You right now and I ask that You would just touch her spiritual body from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. We obviously want her physical body to be touched but Lord our bodies are not as important as our spirit man. So, we thank You for whatever work You’re going to do and her and that You’re gonna do for her mother. We thank You dear Jesus. Amen.
Hey DAB family this is the mother that had gestational diabetes that was feeling overwhelmed at the end of her pregnancy. I guess I’m calling in a praise report. Everything of course worked out in the end. By the last couple days, we…sorry…we settled on an induction date and the last couple of days before the induction date I was able to find peace and be prepared and get ready for the baby and even went on an outing with family just before the baby was born. And she’s this beautiful happy healthy baby was born on the 27th of February. And we’re just loving having her here. And I just wanted to thank you all for your prayers. So, thank you. Bye.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible community to be a Blessing in California. I have not been sleeping well it’s about 4:30 on Monday morning and I just would like to ask that you would pray for me. I know casting my cares on Jesus for he cares for me. I know promises and I believe them but for whatever reason I’m not able to shake loose some of the concerns this morning, concerns for my brother who sounding more despondent, more sad, more hopeless. And I’m just asking that you would pray that God would break through the darkness and that he would experience a desire to invite joy into his life and joy is Jesus and that you would pray for me to know how to minister to my brother at this time. Also praying for my community. We’ve had more than 40 inches of rain since the beginning of the year and more year rain is coming and the ground is saturated. There’s really nowhere for the water to go except into the community. I’m in a flood zone. My neighbors are in a flood zone. And, so, praise God our homes have been spared. And I’m just asking that God would continue to spare our homes. Also, for those who have lost their homes because of the flooding. Just ask that God would be with them as well. My stepbrother has multiple sclerosis and has had a relapse. So, prayers for him in a very special way. Young man taking care of his family. And lastly a friend of mines son committed suicide over the weekend. So, if you would pray for Jack and his fiancé Jacqueline as they go through this grieving process and God would be with them. Thank you so much.
Hello, DABbers this is Artie from Arkansas. This morning I’m listening to March 7th ‘s broadcast and podcast and there was a young lady Rochelle who had called in on…on the 25th of February and aired today. Wow! Rochelle, Rochelle that was so beautiful, so beautiful. Another young man David also was on this day. He too was a young adult and now he has come back. He’s come back to the Bible, to God, to counting on Him for…for his…his blessings, counting on Him for his walk, counting on Him for prayers for other people and for themselves. Please let’s continue to pray for Rochelle. Rochelle your words are amazing. You…you spoke as if you…as if you were completely involved with your Lord and Savior your entire life and strong and convicted. David, please know you will be prayed for as well. And we just lift you both up. And also Rochelle, the lady and her daughter that you are concerned with, we lift them up.
This message is for Susie in California who called about her eight-year-old nephew with autism who’s been running out into the street into the traffic escaping from school escaping from the home and running out into traffic. Susie your…your story touches me close. My…my son has…he’s on the spectrum as well. He’s doing much better now but he didn’t do this, but he did some things. And this story just also brought my mind straight to…to…to Mark 9 where…where the father brings her…his son to…to Jesus. His son has been dealing with epilepsy all his life and he said that it would have a tendency to throw the boy into the ground and into the fire and into the water and try to kill him. Jesus also cast the spirit out. He said sometimes this kind only comes out with prayer and fasting. So, I’ll be praying for your…for your nephew. Encourage your…your sister, the…the…the boy’s mother, the parents to read this passage. It was affective with my son as well. OK. Praying for you Susie. Thank you for calling in.