Thursday, November 7, 2013

Numbers 23:11-13

"And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether.
And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the Lord hath put in my mouth?
And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence."
Numbers 23:11-13

This is an interesting story where Balak the king of the Moabites tries to get the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites who have recently come into the land.  Balaam goes with him, but tells him that he can only do what God tells him to do.  This is the result of Balak's first attempt.  Balaam goes to God about the request, and God tells him to bless the Israelites rather than cursing them.  Up to this point, Balak seems to be making a lot of sense.  He's scared of a new threat to his country, he knows he can't face them without God's help.  He asks the prophet to do something so that they can drive out the invaders.  But then, after he finds out that God doesn't want to drive them out he's like, hmm... let's try from over there instead.  Maybe God will want to from there.  It reminds me of Green Eggs and Ham.  Oh, you don't like this food?  Here, try it inside of a box with a wild animal.  That's got to change things. :)  Anyway, Balak takes Balaam to three different locations and asks him to curse the Israelites three times, but amazingly (at least to Balak), God doesn't change his mind.  Every time, the Israelites are blessed rather than cursed.
Don't we do this same thing in our lives sometimes?  We ask God for something, sometimes knowing it is not good for us, sometimes expecting him to say yes.  But he doesn't.  He tells us no.  And we step back, shake our heads, and think... wow, that must have been a mistake.  Surely God will agree with us if we just show him how right it is.  But God isn't the subject of a Doctor Seuss book, and he has *already* thought it through.  Today, let's stop marching around and trying to get different answers here and there.  Let's listen to what God tells us today.  If he says no, there is a reason... and something better in store in a different direction.

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