February 24, 2020: Day 23 – Numbers 23

If at first you don't succeed, if you are going against the Lord, then don't try again!  What a chapter of futility that we find here.  So we continue  the story of Balaam, who is favored by God, and Balak, who is the king of Moab.  Balak is looking to overcome Israel which is encamped ready to take him on in battle.  He sets up 7 offering places hoping to get a positive review and a positive oracle from God which would place him in a good position to conquer Israel.  But when  Balaam comes down and tells Balak what God told him about what would happen, it was all good news for Israel and bad news for Moab.  

Maybe I was in the wrong location and God saw too many of the troops and got frightened.  Let's go to a different location where God won't see as many of the troops and maybe this time he will curse Israel and bless Moab.  The same thing happens and in fact this time God is somewhat insulted that Balak would think that God would change his mind so quickly.  "God is not a human being that he should lie."we find in vs.19.  That isn't quite starting off the way that he would like.  But the king doesn't give up.  Let's go up one more mountain and do 7 more sacrifices and see if this time the Lord is going to be on my side.

So what surprises me more than anything is not that Balak comes up with the idea of going to God a third time, but that Balaam agrees to go along with him and be the person who would hear what God would say.  This is true especially after God said that he isn't going to change his mind.  He cannot curse his people the Israelites so you are wasting your time.  Let's see what happens next chapter.

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