Daily Devotional Thursday 17th September 2020

by William Moody

Numbers 23:13–26

Balaam’s Second Oracle

13 And Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place, from which you may see them. You shall see only a fraction of them and shall not see them all. Then curse them for me from there.” 14 And he took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15 Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here beside your burnt offering, while I meet the LORD over there.” 16 And the LORD met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak.” 17 And he came to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the LORD spoken?” 18 And Balaam took up his discourse and said,

  “Rise, Balak, and hear;
    give ear to me, O son of Zippor:
19   God is not man, that he should lie,
    or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
  Has he said, and will he not do it?
    Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
20   Behold, I received a command to bless:
    he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.
21   He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob,
    nor has he seen trouble in Israel.
  The LORD their God is with them,
    and the shout of a king is among them.
22   God brings them out of Egypt
    and is for them like the horns of the wild ox.
23   For there is no enchantment against Jacob,
    no divination against Israel;
  now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,
    ‘What has God wrought!’
24   Behold, a people! As a lioness it rises up
    and as a lion it lifts itself;
  it does not lie down until it has devoured the prey
    and drunk the blood of the slain.”

25 And Balak said to Balaam, “Do not curse them at all, and do not bless them at all.” 26 But Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘All that the LORD says, that I must do’?”


Balak tries a second time to have Balaam curse the Israelites (v13-14). The result is as before, God puts the words into Balaam’s mouth (v16) so that the Israelites receive blessing and not cursing (v18-24).

As God will bless as He has promised (v19), Balaam will have to do the same (v20). This reminds believers today that our actions have to be consistent with the ways of God.

The  Israelites  will  not  know  misfortune  as  God  is  with  them  (v21).  Their deliverance from Egypt proved this and this gave them great strength (v22). The scheming of man will ultimately have no avail, against those whom God has made into a strong lion (v23-24).

Day by day do you live with such confidence knowing that God is with you? Balak wants to give up as his attempts at cursing bring only blessing (v25). In all things God works together for the good of Hiss people, even the schemes of the wicked God uses for the good of His people (Romans 8 v28).

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.