Numbers 23 Outline
– Balaam blessed the Israelites at the first oracle (Numbers 23:1-12)
– Balaam blessed the Israelites at the second oracle of Balaam (Numbers 23:13-26)
– Balaam blessed the Israelites at the third oracle of Balaam (Numbers 23:27-30)
Numbers 23 Summary
While at the high places of Baal, Balaam instructed Balak to build 7 altars and prepare 7 bulls and 7 rams. Balak did as Balaam instructed him and built 7 altars. Balak and Balaam offered 1 bull and 1 ram on each altar. Then, Balaam instructed Balak to stay there for a short time while he go to a barren height to listen to what God has to tell him. God met with Balaam and put a message in his mouth. When Balaam returned to Balak, he blessed the Israelites. Balak was angry when he heard Balaam blessed the Israelites. But Balaam replied he will only speak what God has put in his mouth.
Next, Balak brought Balaam to the field of Zophim at the top of Pisgah. Again, Balaam instructed Balak to build 7 altars and offered 1 bull and 1 ram on each altar. Then, Balaam instructed Balak to stay there for a short time while he go to another place to meet with God. God put a message in Balaam’s mouth and he blessed the Israelites upon returning to Balak. Then, Balak told Balaam to neither curse nor bless the Israelites at all. Balaam replied he can only say what God told him to say.
Once again, Balak brought Balaam to the top of Peor, which faced toward Jeshimon. Again, 7 altars were built. On each altar, Balak offered 1 bull and 1 ram.
Numbers 23 Bible Study
1. God can use anyone for his plan
Balaam was an evil prophet who cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication (Revelation 2:14) yet God was able to use him for his good plan for the Israelites. Instead of cursing the Israelites, Balaam blessed them. Balaam blessed the Israelites in all his oracles. A person with spiritual gift does not mean he lives a holy life (Matthew 7:21-23).
2. Bless and don’t curse your enemies
God put a message in Balaam to bless the Israelites. Balak hired Balaam to curse the Israelites because he wanted to attack and defeat them but Balaam blessed them instead. We must use God’s love to love our enemies. We must bless our enemies instead of cursing them, then we will have rewards in heaven (Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:14; Romans 12:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:15).
3. God always keep his promise
In Numbers 23:19, 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? God is faithful and he always keep his promise. We can trust in God’s promises because he always do what he says. We just need to be patient and trust in him. It may take a long time because God always fulfill his promise (2 Timothy 2:13; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Hebrews 7:21).