The next several chapters of God’s Story show interesting interactions in the pursuits of blessings. Some of God’s enemies wanted to bribe Balaam, a diviner, to get God to bless them and curse God’s people. Fear causes people to do weird things; so does bribery. But as the account unfolds we read how God is God and He will bless those He chooses to bless and He will curse those He chooses to curse. He can even cause a donkey to speak to get His point across.
Balak, king of the Moabites, is afraid of God’s people so he bribes Balaam to curse them. But just the opposite happened. Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam. He struck his hands together and said to him, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but you have blessed them these three times.” From the very beginning, the Bible records that God blesses His people. We need to stay close to Him especially when it may feel like our enemy has the upper hand and wants us to be cursed.
Numbers 24:10 NIV
Everyone is packed up for the Promised Land and the marching orders have been given when Moses asked one of his relatives to come along as their guide. One day Moses said to his brother-in-law, Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, “We are on our way to the place the Lord promised us, for he said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised wonderful blessings for Israel!” “You know the places in the wilderness where we should camp. Come, be our guide. If you do, we’ll share with you all the blessings the Lord gives us.”
Hobab may have known where to camp, but it was the Lord who provided the guidance as the Israelites followed the cloud and fire over the tabernacle. In our life journey we are very tempted to seek out human guides and that may be helpful, but I pray we do not miss out on the ways God personally desires to mark the path before us. Destination is important, but so is the adventure of the journey as we learn and grow close to God along the way.
Numbers 10:29, 31-32 NLT
One of my all-time favorite blessings in the Bible is the blessing that the Lord gave to Aaron to pass on to His people. I want this blessing of God’s protection, His smile and His peace and I want it for everyone whom I love. Revel in the goodness of a good God who has good things to offer those He loves. If we try, we can almost feel the warmth of these ancient words, known as the priestly blessing, relayed from God to Moses to Aaron to us.
“Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing: ‘May the LORD bless you and protect you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.’ Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.” It is so good I want to bless again: May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace. What a blessing! What a God!
Numbers 6:22-27 NLT