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Day 47 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue Numbers and Psalms.
Numbers 22 – On the verge of realizing God’s promise, Israel faces a new threat from Balak the king of Moab, who secures Balaam, a renowned pagan diviner, to curse God’s people. As the following stories will demonstrate, however, God’s determined purpose is to bless His people despite their sin (22:22; 6:23–27).
When Balaam says that God refused him permission to go, Balak increases his payment offer. This suggests the original messengers had reported to Balak that Balaam would prophesy against Israel, for the right price.
Surely Balaam understood that the Lord did not want him to prophesy against Israel. Likely, he just wanted the money and the honor that Balak offered
While we may be persecuted and reviled by the world, how do we find our security and joy in knowing that every promise of God has been secured for us by Jesus? Hint: 2 Corinthians 1:19-22; Ephesians 1:3.
Who or what can separated us from the love of God we have in Jesus? Hint: Romans 8:31–39.
Numbers 23 and 24 – Far from cursing Israel, God—through the rascal Balaam—marvelously expands upon His promises to Abraham (Genesis 12:1–3). Balaam’s first oracle confirms the Abrahamic promise of numerous descendants; his second oracle confirms the promise of blessing and security; his third oracle confirms the promise of land and blessing to the nations, expressly through the reign of a messianic ruler.
How do we have a sure confidence that all things will work together for the good of God’s people? Hint: Romans 8:28–30.
If God spoke a word of blessing through Balaam, how much more of a blessing do we receive through Jesus? Hint: Hebrews 12:24.
Psalm 47 – Because the “king over all the earth” is the one true God, the psalmist calls on all humanity to worship Him expressively. Jesus not only incarnated the psalmist’s vision of this loving conqueror, He sovereignly provoked such energetic worship even among children (Matthew 21:15).
Alluding to the procession of the ark of the covenant up to Jerusalem, the psalmist understood that it represented the blessed presence of God (Psalm 47:5–6; 2 Samuel 6:15). Its lid and the animal blood that covered it once a year represented God’s mercy (Leviticus 16:13–16).
Jesus, the last Lamb, went up to Jerusalem to become that altar-sacrifice for His people by dying on the cross. He tore down the dividing curtain in the Most Holy Place (Mark 15:38). Reflecting images of this psalm, Jesus’ love at Calvary explains our present “loud songs of joy” and moves us to “fear”—that is, reverent trust—out of love because our sins are forgiven!
How does this Psalm draw you closer to Jesus?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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