Intercepted Paths

  1. Message:  Numbers 22 is one of my favorite stories to read simply because I’m amused that God made Balaam’s donkey talk to him, and I’m even more amused that he carried on a conversation with him with no mention of it being unusual. This story is so much bigger than this though. Israel was traveling through to the promised land, but God had them defeating people in several other lands in order to take their promise. Kings were catching wind of them and nobody wanted them to pass through their land. They saw their enormous number and were fearful of them because of what God had done through them. I had always read about Balaam with the assumption that he was a prophet of God because of his encounters with God and the angel of the Lord through this story, but after reading this story again and reading the footnotes in my bible I see he was actually a diviner. He consulted spirits of all kinds and put blessings and curses on people for a fee. This is exactly what the king of Moab was trying to pay him to do to Israel. I find it interesting that even though he consulted with all kinds of other spirits, he consulted with God before giving an answer. I could go in circles through this whole passage trying to figure out Balaam, but what I really took notice of, is that God protected Israel to the point that even a diviner obeyed him, and when he tried to travel toward Israel God literally sent a warrior angel with sword drawn to intercept his path.
  2. Application:  What I really got out of this is that God will work through and speak to anyone to fight on behalf of those he has called blessed. The enemies of Israel had plans to destroy them, but God interrupted those plans. Even the plans of darkness will fall in line when God speaks. Their plans will not be carried out. This also means that have to be careful too that we don’t find ourselves fighting against something or someone that God has blessed. The Israelites weren’t blessed because they were good. They were blessed because God chose to bless them. Anyone fighting on the wrong side of that blessing will find themselves face to face with an angel of God and we may not even know it. Balaam may have been a diviner but he had the wisdom to inquire of God and heed to the warning.

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