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Road Block

Daily Reading: Numbers 22

Scripture Focus: I did not know that you stood in the road against me. (Numbers 22.34)

Devotional Thought: In Numbers 22-24 we read the account of Balaam being called to curse Israel. A careful reading of these three chapters, along with knowledge from other places in scripture, reveals that Balaam had two sides to his personality. God spoke to him, and he was a prophet entrusted to repeat what he had heard. In one sense he was selfless in standing on the Truth. Yet we find him quite selfish as well. He spoke words of blessing on God's people while he worked behind the scenes to facilitate their downfall. His name is derived from two Hebrew words meaning, "Not of the people." In other words, though he (grudgingly?) blessed God's people, he was not with them heart and soul. He was a conflicted man.


As Balaam made his way to curse or bless the people of Israel, his inner conflict reared its ugly head, and God had to get his attention. God caused Balaam's donkey to resist him. When Balaam beat his donkey - after which God spoke to him through it! - God revealed himself to him. Balaam quickly confessed he had gotten his eyes off the Lord: "I did not know that you stood in the road..."


There are times that God stands in the road before us, to prevent us from going down the wrong path. Too often, we disregard the signs and keep plowing ahead. Instead, we ought to be paying attention to what God is trying to say.


When you run into difficulties, obstacles, or even uneasiness, stop and consider what God might be saying to you. If you do, you will save yourself much grief!


Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for standing in the road before me, to prevent me from going places I should not go. Help me to heed your warnings and surrender to your will. Amen.


Psalm of the Day: 153 Look on my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law. 154 Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise! 155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes. 156 Great is your mercy, O LORD; give me life according to your rules. 157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, but I do not swerve from your testimonies. 158 I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commands. 159 Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love. 160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. (Psalms 119:153-160)

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