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Numbers 22:21-23:30

A talking donkey, a mad false prophet who keeps sacrificing a lot of sheep and bulls ‘cause he’s trying to “get paid,” and revelations from God about His blessings and favor on Israel. This is a very fast moving read today.

The verse that speaks to me iis the 19th verse in chapter 23,
19 God is not a man, that he should lie.
He is not a human, that he should change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
Has he ever promised and not carried it through?

God is telling us that He can be trusted, that His Word is His bond. He doesn’t have to be manipulated, He doesn’t care how many bull and sheep you burn up His Word doesn’t change.

Luke 1:57-80

How do you explain to people God has named your baby? You are foregoing tradition in naming your male child a name that no other mail in your family has had. The child’s father cannot speak and his mother is an old woman. But when the father in writing confirms the child’s name, the man who was mute for nine months now can suddenly speak. Ya know that God is up to something.

This speaks to me about getting out of “the box.” This speaks to me about looking past traditions, the traditions of men, the traditions of cultural and ethnic groups and finding the will of God outside of the box.

Psalm 58:1-11
Imprecatory prayers written by David can be prayed when we think we are facing enemies. God can take any situation that seems to the observer, impossible and change it around making a way where there seem to be no way. David knew about this first hand because He escaped from his adversary, King Saul, many times.

Proverbs 11:12-13

These two verses immediately brought to my mind another passage in Proverbs 26 (Amp) I’m not sure why.

22 The words of a whisperer or slanderer are like dainty morsels or words of sport [to some, but to others are like deadly wounds]; and they go down into the innermost parts of the body [or of the victim's nature].

23 Burning lips [uttering insincere words of love] and a wicked heart are like an earthen vessel covered with the scum thrown off from molten silver [making it appear to be solid silver].

Grace and peace,

Numbers 22 & 23

God did not allow Balaam to curse the Israelites. As seen in the OT, the Israelites often forgot God and grumbled etc.. But when it came to judgment and blessing and curses, it was within God's own jurisdiction. God allowed no Balaam to curse the Israelites. However bad the Israelites were, they were God's people and He loved them. Only He could do the judgment.

My apologies for yesterday’s post, I accidentally read beyond the stopping point in Numbers and then posted my comment on Balaam’s Donkey which is actually in today’s readings. Hey, when the stories are this interesting it’s easy to blow right past the stopping point.

Mike’s question: “Are there perhaps “inconveniences” in your life today that are maybe saving you from a bad situation? Or, do you recognize inconveniences in the past that saved you from a bad situation?”

Yes, immediately one came to mind that happened about five years ago. I was in a hurry and got stuck behind a really slow moving truck approaching the freeway entrance and yes I was feeling pretty impatient but had no choice but wait it out. As I got on the freeway and blew past this slow moving truck I noticed up ahead all kinds of smoke and I hit the brakes with just enough time to avoid a huge pile up of cars in a major accident. If I had not encountered the inconvenience of that slow moving truck, I would have been right in the middle of a really bad accident involving a lot of cars that weren’t so lucky. Now when I encounter delays while driving, I remember that slow moving (Balaam’s Donkey) truck and my impatience quickly evaporates.

In the today’s readings what stood out for me was Proverbs 11:12-13. Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

Today’s proverb reading said much-In just a few words. What came to mind was that God has entrusted each of us with the neighborhood and surrounding neighbors we have for a reason. We are to set an example by not grumbling, not complaining, not entering into gossip and not speaking derogatory words. Do we want to change the world? The place to start is with our own neighbors, the small flock that God has entrusted us with. Lord, give me the wisdom to be the best neighbor I can be.

What makes it hard not to hold my peace is when my flesh has reason to despise - anger, jealousy, bitterness, or self-pity. And my neighbor can be any one, although those in closest proximity (family, literal neighbors, co-workers, church members) are the ones who I seem to get in a wad about the most.


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