September 12, 2016: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Numbers 21-24
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Commentary: Despite a victory for the Israelites over their enemies, they quickly begin to complain again. (Are you noticing a theme?) The Israelites’ every need is provided for by the Lord, yet the Israelites continue to find things about which to complain. They were judged for their complaints and could only be healed through repentance and faith. Notice the change in attitude and actions when the Israelites put the Lord first. Balaam is a parallel story. He is a true prophet but is greedy and covetous. Balaam already knew the Lord’s answer, yet he asked again, hoping the Lord would change His mind. However, Balaam had already decided not to do as the Lord asked, so the Lord’s answer did not truly matter. Like the Israelites, Balaam was focused on himself instead of on the Lord. Balaam’s selfishness prevented him from seeing an angel of the Lord. The Lord protected His people, only allowing Balaam to bless the Israelites instead of cursing them.
Focus Verses: 22:7-20 The Lord has given us free will; we can reject His request, as Balaam did. Have you ever rejected a request of the Lord? What happened? Why do we need to seek the guidance of the Lord with a truly open heart, not closed like Balaam’s?