Bible Pathways - Feb. 22, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
The key to failures as well as to blessings and victories abounds in these verses, as the refugees finally near their destination. And a wise donkey speaks to save a foolish prophet (22:28).
Balak was aware that Israel's God had conquered the Egyptian armies and of all that Israel had done to the Amorites and he probably thought he was to be destroyed next (22:2-4). He sent messengers, therefore unto Balaam (22:5). He had heard of Balaam, the prophet, and he hoped that he could persuade him to prophecy against the Israelites.
Balaam received marvelous prophetic revelations and inspiration that came from God. He was endowed with far more than ordinary knowledge of the one true God. He was aware of the relationship of Israel to God, and he knew he could not curse those whom God had blessed. However, the wealth and prominence King Balak had offered him enticed Balaam to eventually compromise what he knew was God's will. He should have refused Balak, but he coveted the rewards that were offered him. He loved the wages of unrighteousness (II Peter 2:15).
Balaam belonged to that great number of people who know the right doctrine, sing the right songs, and can even quote the right Scripture but deceive themselves and chose error over what they know the Word of God instructs them to do. They too love the wages of unrighteousness. Like Balaam, they expect to die the death of the righteous (Numbers 23:10), but they are unwilling to live the life of the righteous.
Covetousness comes in a variety of forms, such as: Christ and biblical values not being of first concern. Their first concern is probably not evil, such as opportunities to be popular or wealthy, or mere pleasure, but they have forsaken the Lord's day, tithing, participation in the Lord's Supper, and the support of the only institution that Christ died to establish. They have no personal heart interest in what God has said concerning Christ (who) also loved the church, and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25) and not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25). They may "serve" God in their own way while they live to please themselves. If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it (Matthew 16:24-25). Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth (Luke 12:15).
Thought for Today:
Jesus said no one can serve two masters. Are you going to serve God or selfish satisfaction?
By Moses who prayed for God to save the people (Numbers 21:7). Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house (family, i.e. the Israelites) (Heb. 3:1-2).
21:2 utterly =completely; 21:4 compass =go around; 21:5 soul loatheth =people detest, intense dislike; 21:11 the sunrising =by the eastern border; 21:18 staves =staffs; 21:23 suffer =permit, allow; 21:35 smote =killed, destroy; 22:1 pitched =camped; this side =the eastern side; 22:3 sore =very, utterly; 22:4 lick up =defeat in battle; 22:5 over against me =in front of me; 22:6 smite =defeat; wot =know; 22:7 rewards of divination =fees for fortune telling the future; 22:23 ass =donkey; 22:27 staff =rod; 22:28 smitten =struck; 22:29 would =wish; 22:30 wont to do =failed to serve you; 22:36 utmost =farthest, boundary.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Government Official: Sen. Edward Kennedy (MA) • Country: Cyprus (754,000) in the Middle East • Major languages: Greek and Turkish • No open evangelism or conversions to Christ • 75% Greek Orthodox; 19% Muslim; 1% Protestant; 1% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: The promises of God should be an encouragement to you to seek God in prayer (Amos 5:4,6).
Optional Reading: Luke 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:2