Service times

God will bless His people (Numbers)

John Benson

Numbers 22:1-24:19

The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho.
Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
Moab was very afraid of the people, because they were many. Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.
Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this multitude will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.”
Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.
He sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, there is a people who came out of Egypt. Behold, they cover the surface of the earth, and they are staying opposite me.
Please come now therefore curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall prevail, that we may strike them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”
The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand. They came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak.
He said to them, “Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as Yahweh shall speak to me.” The princes of Moab stayed with Balaam.
God came to Balaam, and said, “Who are these men with you?”
Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has said to me,
‘Behold, the people that has come out of Egypt covers the surface of the earth. Now, come curse me them. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.’”
God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people; for they are blessed.”
Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your land; for Yahweh refuses to permit me to go with you.”
The princes of Moab rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”
Balak again sent princes, more, and more honorable than they.
They came to Balaam, and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me,
for I will promote you to very great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Please come therefore, and curse this people for me.’”
Balaam answered the servants of Balak, “If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can’t go beyond the word of Yahweh my God, to do less or more.
Now therefore please stay here tonight as well, that I may know what else Yahweh will speak to me.”
God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak to you, that you shall do.”
Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.
God’s anger burned because he went; and Yahweh’s angel placed himself in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
The donkey saw Yahweh’s angel standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the donkey turned out of the path, and went into the field. Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the path.
Then Yahweh’s angel stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.
The donkey saw Yahweh’s angel, and she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. He struck her again.
Yahweh’s angel went further, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
The donkey saw Yahweh’s angel, and she lay down under Balaam. Balaam’s anger burned, and he struck the donkey with his staff.
Yahweh opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”
Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have mocked me, I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would have killed you.”
The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long until today? Was I ever in the habit of doing so to you?”
He said, “No.”
Then Yahweh opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw Yahweh’s angel standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face.
Yahweh’s angel said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way is perverse before me.
The donkey saw me, and turned away before me these three times. Unless she had turned away from me, surely now I would have killed you, and saved her alive.”
Balaam said to Yahweh’s angel, “I have sinned; for I didn’t know that you stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases you, I will go back again.”
Yahweh’s angel said to Balaam, “Go with the men; but only the word that I shall speak to you, that you shall speak.”
So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him to the City of Moab, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is in the utmost part of the border.
Balak said to Balaam, “Didn’t I earnestly send for you to summon you? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I not able indeed to promote you to honor?”
Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you. Have I now any power at all to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak.”
Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath Huzoth.
Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him.
In the morning, Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal; and he saw from there part of the people.
Balaam said to Balak, “Build here seven altars for me, and prepare here seven bulls and seven rams for me.”
Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bull and a ram.
Balaam said to Balak, “Stand by your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps Yahweh will come to meet me. Whatever he shows me I will tell you.”
He went to a bare height.
God met Balaam, and he said to him, “I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.”
Yahweh put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.”
He returned to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, he, and all the princes of Moab.
He took up his parable, and said,
“From Aram has Balak brought me,
the king of Moab from the mountains of the East.
Come, curse Jacob for me.
Come, defy Israel.
How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?
How shall I defy whom Yahweh has not defied?
For from the top of the rocks I see him.
From the hills I see him.
Behold, it is a people that dwells alone,
and shall not be listed among the nations.
Who can count the dust of Jacob,
or count the fourth part of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous!
Let my last end be like his!”
Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them altogether.”
He answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak that which Yahweh puts in my mouth?”
Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place, where you may see them. You shall see just part of them, and shall not see them all. Curse them from there for me.”
He took him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.
He said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offering, while I meet God over there.”
Yahweh met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and say this.”
He came to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. Balak said to him, “What has Yahweh spoken?”
He took up his parable, and said,
“Rise up, Balak, and hear!
Listen to me, you son of Zippor.
God is not a man, that he should lie,
nor a son of man, that he should repent.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?
Behold, I have received a command to bless.
He has blessed, and I can’t reverse it.
He has not seen iniquity in Jacob.
Neither has he seen perverseness in Israel.
Yahweh his God is with him.
The shout of a king is among them.
God brings them out of Egypt.
He has as it were the strength of the wild ox.
Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob;
Neither is there any divination with Israel.
Now it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel,
‘What has God done!’
Behold, the people rises up as a lioness.
As a lion he lifts himself up.
He shall not lie down until he eats of the prey,
and drinks the blood of the slain.”
Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.”
But Balaam answered Balak, “Didn’t I tell you, saying, ‘All that Yahweh speaks, that I must do?’”
Balak said to Balaam, “Come now, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there.”
Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks down on the desert.
Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me here.”
Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.
When Balaam saw that it pleased Yahweh to bless Israel, he didn’t go, as at the other times, to meet with enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.
Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came on him.
He took up his parable, and said,
“Balaam the son of Beor says,
the man whose eyes are open says;
he says, who hears the words of God,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
falling down, and having his eyes open:
How goodly are your tents, Jacob,
and your tents, Israel!
As valleys they are spread out,
as gardens by the riverside,
as aloes which Yahweh has planted,
as cedar trees beside the waters.
Water shall flow from his buckets.
His seed shall be in many waters.
His king shall be higher than Agag.
His kingdom shall be exalted.
God brings him out of Egypt.
He has as it were the strength of the wild ox.
He shall eat up the nations his adversaries,
shall break their bones in pieces,
and pierce them with his arrows.
He couched, he lay down as a lion,
as a lioness; who shall rouse him up?
Everyone who blesses you is blessed.
Everyone who curses you is cursed.”
Balak’s anger burned against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have altogether blessed them these three times.
Therefore, flee to your place, now! I thought to promote you to great honor; but, behold, Yahweh has kept you back from honor.”
Balaam said to Balak, “Didn’t I also tell your messengers whom you sent to me, saying,
‘If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can’t go beyond Yahweh’s word, to do either good or bad from my own mind. I will say what Yahweh says’?
Now, behold, I go to my people. Come, I will inform you what this people shall do to your people in the latter days.”
He took up his parable, and said,
“Balaam the son of Beor says,
the man whose eyes are open says;
he says, who hears the words of God,
knows the knowledge of the Most High,
and who sees the vision of the Almighty,
Falling down, and having his eyes open:
I see him, but not now.
I see him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob.
A scepter will rise out of Israel,
and shall strike through the corners of Moab,
and break down all the sons of Sheth.
Edom shall be a possession.
Seir, his enemies, also shall be a possession,
while Israel does valiantly.
Out of Jacob shall one have dominion,
and shall destroy the remnant from the city.” Numbers 22:1-24:19 (World English Bible)

Download audio

Numbers

View whole series