Stay Grateful For God’s Care Num.22:4b-6, 31-35; 23:19-23 (HCSB) Jan. 01, 2012
All Christians need to Stay Grateful For God’s Care. We adults can be additionally grateful for what God does for us and allows us to do.
1. Stay Grateful Even if Some . . Oppose You. 22:4b-6
A. Stay Grateful When . . Coaxed and Persuaded to Disobey. 22:4b-5
4b Since Balak son of Zippor was Moab’s king at that time,
5 he sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates in the land of his people. Balak said to him: “Look, a people has come out of Egypt; they cover the surface of the land and are living right across from me.
B. Stay Grateful When . . Complemented and Persuaded to Disobey. 22:6
6 Please come and put a curse on these people for me because they are more powerful than I am. I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that those you bless are blessed and those you curse are cursed.”
Do you ever witness people trying to coax other people into disobedience. I think most of us have seen that happen or been personally exposed to it. In out text the prophet is being coaxed to betray his upbringing and pronounce a curse on Israel. This King Balak must have thought loyalty could be thrown to the wind and a handsome bribe was worth more than standing for your people and country. It is sad that many people can be bought. I heard a man say, “everyone can be bought, you just have to know the right price.” I hope that is not true. How much do you like flattery? The king gave Balaam some glowing complements. He gave all the credit to Balaam and none to His God. There may be times we will face similar attempts to get us to disobey. It will be good for us to remember opposition can take many forms.
2. Stay Grateful Expect God’s Good to . . Overcome Evil Intents. 22:31-35
A. Stay Grateful and Overcome Evil Intents . . Appreciate God’s Leading. 22:31-33
31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the LORD standing in
the path with a drawn sword in His hand. Balaam knelt and bowed with his face to the ground. 32 The Angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Look, I came out to oppose you, because what you are doing is evil in My sight.
33 The donkey saw Me and turned away from Me these three times. If she had not turned away
from Me, I would have killed you by now and let her live.”
B. Stay Grateful and Overcome Evil Intents . . Acknowledge God’s Leading. 22:34-35
34 Balaam said to the Angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know that You were
standing in the path to confront me. And now, if it is evil in Your sight, I will go back.”
35 Then the Angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but you are to say only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.
Have you ever failed to see and appreciate the leading of the Lord? While in seminary my professor said,
“all I will say about Balaams donkey is that he spoke, Assyrian or Hebraic.” I went home and asked my 6 year old daughter if she thought a donkey could talk, she said rather matter of factually, “if God wanted him to he could.” I liked her answer better than my professor’s. We need to appreciate God’s leading in our lives and know he can lead in very unusual ways. This example teaches us to acknowledge God leads in different ways.
The more we sense the leading of the Lord the easier it is to acknowledge His guidance. To his credit Balaam confessed his sin and expressed willingness to repent.
3. Stay Grateful Encourage An . . Overflow of Praise for God’s Care. 23:19-23
A. Stay Grateful and Encourage Praise for the . . Faithfulness of God. 23:19-21
19 God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and
not act, or promise and not fulfill? 20 I have indeed received a command to bless; since He has blessed, I cannot change it. 21 He considers no disaster for Jacob; He sees no trouble for Israel. The LORD their God is with them, and there is rejoicing over the King among them.
B. Stay Grateful and Encourage Praise for the . . Fabulous Working of God. 23:22-23
22 God brought them out of Egypt; He is like the horns of a wild ox for them.
23 There is no magic curse against Jacob and no divination against Israel. It will now be said about Jacob and Israel, “What great things God has done!”
I like the chorus titled, “It’s Amazing What Praising Can Do.” People who praise God for His faithfulness
seem to receive more things for which to give God praise. Have you ever thought about praising God because He is so faithful? As the text tells us He does not lie or change His mind. He is faithful and does just what He has promised. Did your children ever say to you when circumstance caused a change in plans, “but Dad you promised.” God has never heard that because He has never had to break a promise. In addition we can praise God for the fabulous work He has done and will continue to do. I really like the words of verse 23b as it says, “It will now be said about Jacob and Israel; “What great things God has done!” No wonder the title urges us to Stay Grateful For God’s Care. Amen? Amen!