Those who have the good will of heaven may expect the ill will of hell but God will not suffer real injury done to His people and what is done against them He takes as done against Himself and reckons accordingly.
1 And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams.
2 And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram.
3 And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the LORD will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place.
4 And God met Balaam: and he said unto him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram.
5 And the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.
6 And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab.
7 And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel.
8 How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?
9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.
10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!
11 And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether.
12 And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD hath put in my mouth?
13 And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence.
14 ¶ And he brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.
15 And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the LORD yonder.
16 And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus.
17 And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD spoken?
18 And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:
19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
22 God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!
24 Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.
25 ¶ And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.
26 But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that the LORD speaketh, that I must do?
27 ¶ And Balak said unto Balaam, Come, I pray thee, I will bring thee unto another place; peradventure it will please God that thou mayest curse me them from thence.
28 And Balak brought Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward Jeshimon.
29 And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams.
30 And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.
Numbers 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Numbers 22:41 – 23:12 – A Blessing instead of a Curse
Notice the position of these chapters, preceding the awful story of Baal-peor. Presently the Israelites will be perpetrating such terrible sins that it might seem impossible for God to continue to acknowledge them; yet here God stands for them and restrains the spirit of evil. He will take their chastisement, when needed, into his own hands.
With all his might Balaam strove to earn the royal gifts. Ah, thought he, that I could really feel that I was the organ of the divine malediction! But he could not feel in his heart that God’s spirit was urging him in the direction that Balak wished. The stream of destiny was not running that way. On the contrary, he could forge no weapon against Israel that could prosper, and when he tried to raise his tongue in judgment against the people of God he was condemned. It was as if God said, “Touch not mine anointed.” Psalm 105:15; Isaiah 54:17; Romans 8:31. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Numbers 23:13-30 – No Enchantment against Israel
Balak was surprised and disappointed. He therefore bethought himself of limiting the seer’s vision, so that he might see an attenuated Israel from a height that commanded only a partial view of the camp. How often we try to see only what we want to see! How often we shut our eyes to a rival’s real merits! Instead of entering into God’s great thoughts we shut ourselves up in a tiny limited world. We will not acknowledge what our pride does not want to acknowledge. We are like children building sand-castles against the tide. You had better bring your mind to harmonize with God’s facts than minimize or evade their truth. You are hurting yourself, but can never alter them. Take God’s way and be at peace!
Let us ponder Numbers 23:21—it is as we are in God’s purpose; and Numbers 23:23—when faced by our enemies; and Numbers 23:24—when most convinced of our helplessness. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Numbers 23:20—He hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
Balaam would have reversed the blessing into a curse, had he been able. Large rewards were depending on his doing so. But he was restrained. The current of blessing was running too strong for him to stem: the music was too overpowering for him to alter the air. Is not this also the despair of Satan? God hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, and he cannot reverse them.
The blessing of adoption.—When the soul believes in Jesus, it is adopted into the family of God; the new life begins to throb within; it is constituted an heir of God, a joint-heir with Christ (John 1:12). This position is irreversible. We may be tempted and overthrown, we may go for a season into the far country, we may even bring the family-name into contempt; but Satan cannot untie the knot with which God has bound us to Himself.
The blessing of acceptance in the Beloved.—We are in Him, chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, risen and ascended and seated in Him in the heavenlies; and as our God views us in Jesus, He cannot behold iniquity or see perverseness in Him, and He accepts and blesses us as His well-beloved. This, too, is irreversible by the arts and machinations of the great Accuser.
The blessing of the covenant.—God has taken us to be a people for His own possession. His name is named on us, His character is implicated in our ultimate deliverance from evil, and glorification. If we could be cast away, He would suffer irreparable dishonor. Therefore, though Satan do his utmost to discredit us, as he did the patriarch Job, he cannot reverse the covenant in which God and we are for ever and indissolubly joined. —Our Daily Homily