Here’s the story…. The nation of Israel is in the desert after leaving Egypt and before entering the Promised Land. They are a large and powerful group wandering around lands east of the Jordan River. The existing nations there are terrified of Israel and desperately want to drive them away. So, King Balak of Moab decides to try to “run them off the land” by use of sorcery and curses. He hires Balaam, the so-called “prophet,” to come to Moab in order to speak curses over the Israelites. But, it all backfires. Instead of calling down curses on Israel, Balaam listens to God and pronounces blessings on them! King Balak figures this is some kind of mistake, so he takes Balaam to another place where he can overlook the Israelites…and try this all again. What was the king thinking? Wouldn’t common logic say, “If blessings came from God the first time, He’s certainly not going to change His mind.” Exactly! However, the king did not know the true character of God Almighty. He just worshiped puny man-made gods who were easily manipulated and coerced. But, the true and living God remains the same. Here is what Balaam said in his second oracle: “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, 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” (Numbers 23:19-20). Here’s our takeaway from this event: We serve a God who is faithful and consistent and who does not lie. There are many promises in the Word to His children in Christ. Although we may not see them all or experience them all at one time, we can know and believe that God’s promises are “yes, and amen” in Jesus our Lord (see 2 Corinthians 1:20). Even though we are often disappointed by the broken promises of people, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. The One who died for us and shed His blood so that we may be cleansed is the One who promised to be with us in this world…and to share a home with us forever. You can trust His promises because He doesn’t change!
Pastor Mark Boucher