God is not to be approached lightly
1️⃣Ch.23 &24 are in continuation of Balaam’s astounding experience with his own donkey and his meeting with the angel of the Lord. The donkey becomes God’s spokesman here. We are reminded of what Jesus said in Mt.7:21-23. ‘The wonderful things’ we claim to be doing for God would not make us eligible for eternal life.Our eloquence and wisdom may not suffice to delight God, if we are lacking in holiness. (1Cor.12:7-11,13:1,2)
In Ch.22 Balaam encounters an angel of the Lord.
The angel tells Balaam: ‘Speak only what I tell you.’
In these chapters God uses a disobedient soothsayer for His purpose.
Balaam is a professional Mesopotamian sorserer employed by Balak.
Thrice does Balak change his location to invoke God and try to please Him to bring down a curse on the Israelites. Thrice does Balaam receive God’s message of blessings on the Israelites.
Chapters 23&24 tell us ✳️to allow God to work ‘in’ us to be used for His purpose.
✳️We need to be ‘set apart’ (9),
✳️be righteous (10),
✳️be powerful in God’s strength (24)
✳️We are called to be His people, for He wants to live with us (21)
✳️God’s power will be manifest in us, when He dwells with us (22,23).
✳️Balaam also prophesies about Israel’s future dominance (Ch.24:8,9)
✳️Balaam speaks about their fruitfulness (6)
✳️ their prosperity (7)
✳️ Also Israel’s future triumph (17,19,20-24)
✳️ He hints at Assyrian captivity (Ch.24:22)
✳️ He says: ‘A star will come out of Jacob.'(17)
A sorserer’s prophecy about the Messiah!
The great challenge for Moses and Joshua.
The Israelites succumb to the temptation to compromise with the Canaanite religions and cultures
✳️Phinehas takes a righteous attitude and expresses moral indignation. His zeal for the Lord’s honour is a lesson for the present-day believers, living amidst a pluralistic culture and with a plurality of religion.
✳️The zeal of Phinehas resulted in the Lord entering into a Covenant of the family holding the privilege of being the Highpriest of Israel.
The datails of the second census of the Israelites.
The purpose of the census was to determine the size of each tribe to decide the fair proportion of the territory to be divided among the tribes.
Prof. Leela Mary Koshy