Bible Plan 2014 (Week 22)

Track 1

Deuteronomy 1; Psalms 81, 82

Deuteronomy 2; Psalms 83, 84

Deuteronomy 3; Psalm 85

Deuteronomy 4; Psalms 86, 87

Deuteronomy 5; Psalm 88

Deuteronomy 6; Psalm 89

Deuteronomy 7; Psalm 90

 

Track 2

Isaiah 29; 3 John

Isaiah 30; Jude

Isaiah 31; Revelation 1

Isaiah 32; Revelation 2

Isaiah 33; Revelation 3

Isaiah 34; Revelation 4

Isaiah 35; Revelation 5

Bible Plan 2014 (Week 21)

Track 1

Numbers 30; Psalm 74

Numbers 31; Psalms 75, 76

Numbers 32; Psalm 77

Numbers 33; Psalm 78:1-37

Numbers 34; Psalm 78:38-72

Numbers 35; Psalm 79

Numbers 36; Psalm 80

 

Track 2

Isaiah 22; 2 Peter 3

Isaiah 23; 1 John 1

Isaiah 24; 1 John 2

Isaiah 25; 1 John 3

Isaiah 26; 1 John 4

Isaiah 27; 1 John 5

Isaiah 28; 2 John

The Example of Balak and a Better Way to Seek God

In a somewhat obscure corner of the book of Numbers is the fascinating story of Balaam and Balak (Num. 23-24). Balaam is some kind of prophet for hire. Balak is the king of Moab, a nation that is rather apprehensive of the nation of Israel. Israel is preparing to go to the promised land of Canaan and has soundly defeated several nations on its way around to the Jordan river. Needless to say, Moab and its king Balak is downright frightened of Israel.

The Example of Balak

Balak’s strategy is to call for Balaam to pronounce a curse on Israel. If Israel is cursed then Moab will not suffer the same defeat as the Amorites and Bashan (Num. 21). So Balak takes Balaam up to one of the sacred high places in Moab where Balaam can get a good look at Israel’s camp and curse them.

Sounds like a pretty good strategy. Except that Balaam knows the God of Israel, Yahweh. Balaam had repeatedly told Balak that he could say nothing but what God told him to say. When the sacrifices are made and Balaam inquires of God, God gives him a blessing for Israel instead of a curse! Four times this happens. Each time Balaam speaks God’s word of blessing.

Balak is infuriated! He’s paying good money for a curse! Yet God blesses instead of curses. Balak’s attempts at purchasing a curse, looking to the spiritual high places, and arranging for religious ritual all end in failure. He cannot buy influence with God.

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (23:19)

A Better Way to Seek God

I wonder if we sometimes fall into the same pattern as Balak. Sure, our pattern may not be as obviously pagan or anti-Christian, but in subtle ways have we engaged in patterns of life and religion that are really attempts at influencing God’s will? Have we looked at our lives and decided how they need to go? Have we then attempted to spend money, go places, or do religious work to get God to make our lives the way we want them?

Instead, why not go to him and his Word? Why not seek his kingdom and his righteousness (Matt. 6:33)? Why not ask God to intervene according to his Word and his Will? It may not be our way, but it will be a higher way (Isa. 55:9). It may not be our chosen life, but it will be abundant (John 10:10).

When faced with the difficulties of life, respond by going to God for the answer. Respond by going to his people where they will speak the Word and the Gospel into your situation. Ask for wisdom to deal with the situation (Jam. 1:5).

But don’t wait to go to God and his Word. Go there now. Make it your habit to read the Word every day. Make it your habit to listen to God through prayer daily. The rhythms and patterns you establish now will either strengthen or weaken you in the struggling times. Be strengthened by God and his Word today and every day.

 

Bible Plan 2014 (Week 20)

Track 1

Numbers 23; Psalms 64, 65

Numbers 24; Psalms 66, 67

Numbers 25; Psalm 68

Numbers 26; Psalm 69

Numbers 27; Psalms 70, 71

Numbers 28; Psalm 72

Numbers 29; Psalm 73

 

Track 2

Isaiah 13; 1 Peter 1

Isaiah 14; 1 Peter 2

Isaiah 15; 1 Peter 3

Isaiah 16; 1 Peter 4

Isaiah 17, 18; 1 Peter 5

Isaiah 19, 20; 2 Peter 1

Isaiah 21; 2 Peter 2

Bible Plan 2014 (Week 19)

Track 1

Numbers 15; Psalm 51

Numbers 16; Psalms 52-54

Numbers 17, 18; Psalm 55

Numbers 19; Psalms 56, 57

Numbers 20; Psalms 58, 59

Numbers 21; Psalms 60, 61

Numbers 22; Psalms 62, 63

 

Track 2

Isaiah 5; Hebrews 12

Isaiah 6; Hebrews 13

Isaiah 7; James 1

Isaiah 8-9:7; James 2

Isaiah 9:8-10:4; James 3

Isaiah 10:5-34; James 4

Isaiah 11, 12; James 5