Numbers – Chapter 23: Balaam’s First Message

God, in Numbers 22, was crazy, telling Balaam to go somewhere and then punishing him for doing just that!  Will Numbers 23 bring more sanity?  The gist of Numbers 23 is that God gives Balaam two messages (there are more in future chapters) to give to Balak and his people.  Here’s the first message:

“Balak brought me from Aram,

    the king of Moab from the eastern mountains.

‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me;

    come, denounce Israel.’

How can I curse

    those whom God has not cursed?

How can I denounce

    those whom the Lord has not denounced?

From the rocky peaks I see them,

    from the heights I view them.

I see a people who live apart

    and do not consider themselves one of the nations.

Who can count the dust of Jacob

    or number even a fourth of Israel?

Let me die the death of the righteous,

    and may my final end be like theirs!” – Numbers 23:7-10

How can I denounce the Israelites, says Balaam?  One could start with the slaughtering the Israelites are doing across the land.  That’s a good reason to denounce them!  Here’s the second message:

“Arise, Balak, and listen;

hear me, son of Zippor.

God is not human, that he should lie,

not a human being, that he should change his mind.

Does he speak and then not act?

Does he promise and not fulfill?

I have received a command to bless;

he has blessed, and I cannot change it.

“No misfortune is seen in Jacob,

no misery observed in Israel.

The Lord their God is with them;

the shout of the King is among them.

God brought them out of Egypt;

they have the strength of a wild ox.

There is no divination against Jacob,

no evil omens against Israel.

It will now be said of Jacob

and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’

The people rise like a lioness;

they rouse themselves like a lion

that does not rest till it devours its prey

and drinks the blood of its victims.” – Numbers 23:18-24

God doesn’t change His mind?  Seriously?  In the previous chapter he told Balaam to go somewhere then got mad at him for doing just that!!!  That’s changing one’s mind!  God fulfills promises?  Tell that to Moses and Aaron who were denied the promised land.  Tell that to the babies and infants killed over the last few books, those babies who were denied the promised land.  Drinks the blood of its victims?  Biblical morality.  SMH.

The third message doesn’t appear in this chapter, but the next.  Again, I’m not sure what to say.  Balaam’s messages from God are clear contradictions of the previous books in the Bible.  God does lie.  God does change his mind.  God does not fulfill all promises.  It’s right there in the Bible for all to read if only people would open their eyes!

Coming Soon:  Numbers – Chapter 24:  Balaam’s Third Message

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