Bible Study March 6

Monday March 6, 2023

Reading for Monday is from Numbers 23, 24, and 25.

Chapter 23 –

Once they arrived, Balaam told Balak to build…seven altars…and prepare seven bulls and seven rams. Once completed they offered sacrifices then Balaam told Balak to stay behind while he went to the barren hill to seek the message that He might wany him to deliver. Balaam pointed out he could do nothing and would do nothing with the approval of the Lord. Balak put littles tock into what the Lord’s say was.

God did meet Balaam, essentially putting this message in his mouth Balak, who was standing there by his burnt offerings with all the officials of Moab waiting for the prophet to respond. Balaam delivered the first of his four poetic messages, or oracles, of blessing to Israel. First, he rehearsed why he was there, he had been summoned to denounce Israel.

This must have stunned Balak he had indeed hired Balaam to curse Israel yet he was blessing Israel. Balaam reply was a simple one Shouldn’t I say exactly what the Lord pouts in my mouth? Remember he had promised Balaam a huge amount of money. Surely this would influence him.

Once again altars are built, sacrifices are made, and Balaam goes to seek the Lord who put a message in his mouth Balak wanted to know what God said and again and asks What did the Lord say?

Balaam goes on to say since Israel was brought out of Egypt, the nation had the strength of a wild ox. She was a force against the desires of those like Balak. All these efforts had failed Balak but it seems as though he was a slow learner. He takes Balaam toa third location Maybe it will be agreeable for God to put a curse on them for me. In the ancient Near East it was believed certain gods had power over geographic areas.

Chapter 24 –

This time Balaam changed his routine  y looking over Israel which was encamped below according to the plan God had carefully laid out. When he saw the encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit came upon him. He then described God’s influence on him. His eyes were opened, he heard the sayings of God, he saw a vision from the Almighty and he fell into a trance with his eyes uncovered.

Looking down on the Israel as a nomadic city of tents, he pictured Israel as a beautiful land of abundance and prosperity. The mention of Agag is odd; he is to become a future king of the Amalekites who would be executed by the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 15). It is most likely a follow up prophecy of what is to befall the Amalekites.

In the rest of the oracle, Balaam emphasized God’s strength in bringing Israel out of Egypt and defeating enemy nations. Balak finally has enough, doesn’t get what he wants and becomes furious with Balaam and sends him home without payment. Before the men departed Balaam had one last thing to say to Balak. He made reference to Christ as the descendant of Israel and the “morning star” of Revelation and he also foresaw Israels victories over the Moab, the Edomites, and the Amalekites, the curing of Israel failed.

Chapter 25 –

Balaam may have spoken blessings on Israel but his true character surfaces afterward. He is responsible for the indiscretion we see in chapter 25. Although he was unable to curse Israel for Balak he did offer advice to them on how to commit offences against the Lord.

Keep in mind this simple thought the enemies of Israel could not get to God to be unfaithful to His people but they could get His people to be unfaithful to Him. As a direct result of the maneuver God’s people began to prostitute themselves with women of Moab. The women invited them to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate the and bowed in worship to their gods.

Judgement came swiftly He said Kill each of the men who aligned themselves with Baal. Phineas was zealous for God he took a spear and went into the man’s tent and ran a spear through him and the woman with him. A plague came, twenty-four thousand Israelites died.

The Lord commanded the Israelites to attack the Midianites because they had been involved in inciting the Israelites to worship Baal.

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