Verse of the Day Devotion: Numbers 23:19
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” – Numbers 23:19
This is part of the passage where Balak of Moab sees Israel and feared them. “Then the sons of Israel journeyed and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan opposite Jericho. Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. So, Moab was in great fear because of the people, for they were numerous; and Moab was in dread of the sons of Israel.” Numbers 22:3. And because of this he sends messengers to Balaam to request that he curse the Israelites. “Moab said to the elders of Midian, now this horde will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me. Now, therefore, please come, curse this people for me since they are too mighty for me; perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.” Numbers 22:4-6.
Now Balaam agrees to do so for a fee. He was a Midianite, a non-Israelite prophet, otherwise known as a diviner. Midian was on the east of the Jordan river and when Joshua led Israel to the promised land, He gave this land to the Reubenites who chose to go back across the Jordan to settle there. “With the other half-tribe, the Reubenites and the Gadites received their inheritance which Moses gave them beyond the Jordan to the east, just as Moses the servant of the LORD gave to them;” Joshua 13:8. And when Israel took the land of Midian, they killed Balaam the diviner. “The sons of Israel also killed Balaam the son of Beor, the diviner, with the sword among the rest of their slain.” Joshua 13:22. Now, Balaam goes out to speak to the Lord to receive His words. “He said to them, Spend the night here, and I will bring word back to you as the LORD may speak to me. And the leaders of Moab stayed with Balaam.” Numbers 22:8. Then Balaam hears from the Lord. “God said to Balaam, do not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” Numbers 22:12. He then goes back and tells Balak, adding, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the LORD my God.” Numbers 22:18b.
Balaam is then asked a second time by Balak to curse Israel and he returns with these words, “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how can I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced?” Numbers 23:8. Then Balak asks a third time. “Then Balak said to him, please come with me to another place from where you may see them, although you will only see the extreme end of them and will not see all of them; and curse them for me from there.” Numbers 23:13. Therefore Balaam goes and returns with the words of our focus verse. “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19.
Those words God spoke to Balaam He also speaks to us. What God says is what we should abide by and proclaim to others. We should not go to Him thinking we can get another response, for He will never lie to us and He will never reverse or change His mind. We may not always like, at that moment, what He says, but we must trust Him knowing what He says is absolute truth and will work for our good. If we know what God has said, we must not be like Balaam and go back to see if He has changed. We must profess His truth as seen in His word, and only if we need clarification do we go to Him, not if we want to hear something else.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.