Items posted on 19 July 2010
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Numbers 23.4-11
The Immutability of God’s Words
Posted: 19 July 2010 in Numbers

And God met Balaam…. And the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.

And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab. And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel. How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied? For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his! And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether.

Anybody familiar with this story will know that Balak makes several attempts to have Balaam curse Israel, and he fails each time. He is having trouble accommodating himself to what God has decreed, and after the second attempt Balak is reminded that God is not much given to changing his mind:

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”

The narrative ends with Balaam affirming, in even more explicit terms, that Israel has been blessed by God. The point of the story is obviously that God’s eternal purposes cannot be frustrated by the machinations of men, and known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world (to quote Acts 15.18).

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