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May 05

When you try to buy something that God wants to give you it usually doesn’t work out well: The king of Moab, Balaam, Abraham, and God’s blessing

I heard something I hadn’t noticed before

As part of my goal to listen to the Bible each year I was recently listening to the book of Numbers.  I noticed for the first time that a verse in Numbers is very similar to a verse in Genesis.  That didn’t seem right.

Genesis

In Genesis 12:1-3 God promised to bless those who bless Abraham and to curse those who curse Abraham.

Numbers

In Numbers 22:6 Balak the king of Moab said that Balaam, a famous pagan diviner, had the same power to bless and curse people. I had not noticed this attribution of this power to Balaam before.

Balak was afraid of the Jews as they were nearing the end of their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.  In response to this threat he brought Balaam to curse the Jews and protect his land. He spent a lot of time and money in a failed effort to get this curse.  God did not permit Balaam to curse the Jews.  He blessed them instead.

What the king did not know is that God had already protected his land.  As Moses reminded the Jews in one of his last speeches, the Jews were forbidden to harm the Moabites. (Deuteronomy 2:9)

The Moabites descended from Lot, Abraham’s nephew.  As part of his blessing of Abraham God provided an inheritance for those who were related to Abraham but not his heirs.  The Moabites, the Ammonites, and the descendants of Esau were all given land. The Jews were told that they would not receive this land as part of their divine gift.

What this means for us

We may be guilty of the same mistake as the king of Moab when we seek to achieve with our own power what God would freely give us.

Others posts where I have look at these issues

God is a generous God

I’ve decided to continue a discipline I started last year

Questions for consideration:

Have you ever been torn between patience and getting it done yourself now?

Have you ever been fearful or concerned about something in the future and then it never happened?

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You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to me at  Bob@robertkrupp.com