Daily Devotional Saturday 19th September 2020

by William Moody

Numbers 24:10–25

10 And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. And Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them these three times. 11 Therefore now flee to your own place. I said, ‘I will certainly honor you,’ but the LORD has held you back from honor.” 12 And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, 13 ‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the LORD, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the LORD speaks, that will I speak’? 14 And now, behold, I am going to my people. Come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days.”

Balaam’s Final Oracle

15 And he took up his discourse and said,

  “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
    the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
16   the oracle of him who hears the words of God,
    and knows the knowledge of the Most High,
  who sees the vision of the Almighty,
    falling down with his eyes uncovered:
17   I see him, but not now;
    I behold him, but not near:
  a star shall come out of Jacob,
    and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;
  it shall crush the forehead1 of Moab
    and break down all the sons of Sheth.
18   Edom shall be dispossessed;
    Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed.
    Israel is doing valiantly.
19   And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion
    and destroy the survivors of cities!”

20 Then he looked on Amalek and took up his discourse and said,

  “Amalek was the first among the nations,
    but its end is utter destruction.”

21 And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said,

  “Enduring is your dwelling place,
    and your nest is set in the rock.
22   Nevertheless, Kain shall be burned
    when Asshur takes you away captive.”

23 And he took up his discourse and said,

  “Alas, who shall live when God does this?
24     But ships shall come from Kittim
  and shall afflict Asshur and Eber;
    and he too shall come to utter destruction.”

25 Then Balaam rose and went back to his place. And Balak also went his way.


[1] 24:17 Hebrew corners [of the head]


Balak is angry (v10-11). Despite being told repeatedly, he fails to see that under God’s control, Balaam can do nothing but what God commands, which is to bless His people (v12-13). Today the world gets angry at the church, because it expects the church to conform and share what the world wants. But the church has no choice, we can only say and do what God commands. God’s word is our authority and message and that Word does not change.

Balaam shares one final oracle about Israel (v15-19). The authority of Balaam’s message depends on who it comes from (v15-16). Balaam speaks of a ruler who will come from Israel who will destroy their enemies (v17-19). This ruler could be Saul or David, but ultimately it would be Jesus (see Colossians 2 v15; Philippians 2 v9-11).

By contrast to the fruitfulness of God’s people, Balaam ends by speaking of the  destruction  of  the  nations  around  them  (v20-24).  In  Christ  there  is security, outside of Christ ultimately there is only destruction. Make sure you are in Christ, make sure you are secure!

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.