Let us determine to be wise, sober and alert for our enemy
The king of Moab was shaken as he looked upon the people of Israel, who had camped in the plains of Moab.
This was because he heard what they had done to the Amorites and because he saw that they were numerous, Numbers 22:1-3. He seeks out the services of Balaam to curse them because Balaam had a good reputation concerning the power and authority that his words carried, vs 6.
However, this plan was thwarted because of God’s intervention on behalf of His people Israel, vs 35. As a result, although Balaam did go with the men that King Balak sent to escort him, yet God ensured that it worked in favour of His people by making Balaam to bless them and praise them, instead of merely ensuring that Balaam only did not curse them, Numbers 23:8-10, 19-24; Numbers 24:5-9!
Balaam even prophesied about the coming Messiah, and the destruction of the Moabites, Edomites, Amalekites and Kennites, vs 17-22. This is so much like the picture of the devil who is jealousy of God’s chosen people when he finds them walking in obedience to God’s laws and commandments, because he is aware of the damage they could do to his kingdom when they walk in godly fear.
However, as long as we walk in obedience, the devil can’t touch us because God’s shield of protection and favour surround us. So, try as he may, to use his agents to curse us, he will never succeed! However, when he can’t succeed in this manner, then he will assuredly try his best to get us to disobey God, so that God Himself will eventually be forced to punish us.
This is exactly what we see happening in Numbers 25. And this is what Balaam taught Balak to do before he left Moab to go to his own home, Revelation 2:14! He instructed Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel so they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. Thus, they attracted God’s wrath upon themselves, which was halted only because Phinehas took action, Numbers 25:7-9, but only after 24,000 people were killed by the plague!
In the census taken subsequently in Numbers 26, there was not a man among those who had been numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest when they numbered the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai, for the Lord had said of them, “They will surely die in the wilderness.” And so, there was not left a single man of them, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun, vs 64,65.
Thus, God made sure that only those who were obedient and had faith and those who were free from a grumbling, complaining, unbelieving, idolatrous and immoral spirit could enter the land of Canaan! It will be the same for us today for God is impartial in His judgments, and these things have been written for our instruction, so that we take care not to fall in the same example of unbelief and disobedience.
Let us determine to be wise, sober and alert for our enemy, the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, waiting for someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8. Let us walk in humility and resist him growing strong in our faith in the midst of our suffering and trials, knowing that after we have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called us to His eternal glory in Christ will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us, vs 9,10.