Through the Bible Day by Day
And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams.
A BLESSING INSTEAD OF A CURSE
Notice the position of these chapters, preceding the awful story of Baal-peor. Presently the Israelites will be perpetrating such terrible sins that it might seem impossible for God to continue to acknowledge them; yet here God stands for them and restrains the spirit of evil. He will take their chastisement, when needed, into his own hands.
With all his might Balaam strove to earn the royal gifts. Ah, thought he, that I could really feel that I was the organ of the divine malediction! But he could not feel in his heart that God’s spirit was urging him in the direction that Balak wished. The stream of destiny was not running that way. On the contrary, he could forge no weapon against Israel that could prosper, and when he tried to raise his tongue in judgment against the people of God he was condemned. It was as if God said, “Touch not mine anointed.” Psa_105:15; Isa_54:17; Rom_8:31.
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.
NO ENCHANTMENT AGAINST ISRAEL
Balak was surprised and disappointed. He therefore bethought himself of limiting the seer’s vision, so that he might see an attenuated Israel from a height that commanded only a partial view of the camp. How often we try to see only what we want to see! How often we shut our eyes to a rival’s real merits! Instead of entering into God’s great thoughts we shut ourselves up in a tiny limited world. We will not acknowledge what our pride does not want to acknowledge. We are like children building sand-castles against the tide. You had better bring your mind to harmonize with God’s facts than minimize or evade their truth. You are hurting yourself, but can never alter them. Take God’s way and be at peace!
Let us ponder Num_23:21 -it is as we are in God’s purpose; and Num_23:23 -when faced by our enemies; and Num_23:24 -when most convinced of our helplessness.