Safe yet afraid

Fear is an Illusion
Fear is an illusion which taunts us and becomes a snare to our progress and advancement. It is worthy to note that most of the things we fear are not really there or they are there but harmless and are never a threat to us. In the book of Numbers 22, Balak, the king of Moab was afraid of the Israelites when they pitched on the plains of Moab unknown to him that the Israelites have been instructed by God not to distress or contend with them in battle. Deuteronomy 2:9 "And the Lord said to me, Do not trouble or assault Moab or contend with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot for a possession". Balak being ignorant of this instruction sought to curse the people that meant him and his people no harm. Unfortunately, most of us are mostly responsible for bad things that happen to us due to decisions we make ignorantly. 
On the other hand is the case of Balaam, who took God for a joker, God is not a man that says 'No' today and 'Yes' tomorrow. God knows the end right from the beginning, when He says Yes He means Yes, and when He says No, He means No. When Balak first sent  men to Balaam, God spoke to Him which we can see in Numbers 22:12 "God said to Balaam, "Don't go with them. And don't curse the others - they are a blessed people". This was God's perfect will regarding this matter for because Numbers 23:19 "God is not man, one given to lies, and not a son of man changing his mind. Does he speak and not do what he says? Does he promise and not come through". When God says No, we have no reason to start praying about such matter again, hoping He will change His mind, we should rather promptly obey Him. Forcing His hand to change His response will only be His permissive will which has great consequences. It can be seen that God grants permissive will according to the idols in our hearts. Ezekiel 14:4 " Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Every man of the house of Israel who takes his idols [of self-will and unsubmissiveness] into his heart and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity [idols of silver and gold] before his face, and yet comes to the prophet [to inquire of him], I the Lord will answer him, answer him according to the multitude of his idols". This was exactly what happened to Balaam when he inquired of God the second time on the same matter. 
How did I know that God's second response in verse 20, saying he can go with them was a permissive will?  Numbers 22::22 "As he was going, though, God's anger flared. The angel of God stood in the road to block his way. Balaam was riding his donkey, accompanied by his two servants". You can see that forcing the hand of God over a matter has great consequences of which Balaam paid dearly.
From this story, it is also disheartening to note that most people we run to in times of assumed trouble are not really what we think they are, we in turn end  up inviting trouble to ourselves by one single wrong action we took in fear by running to the wrong Prophets or assumed men of God to inquire. In Joshua 13:22 "Balaam son of Beor, the soothsayer, the Israelites also killed with the sword among the rest of their slain". We see that Balaam was actually a soothsayer and not a prophet as assumed by king Balak, no wonder he was blinded by money. His ways was also perverse before the Lord, 22:32" And the Angel of the Lord said to him, Why have you struck your donkey these three times? See, I came out to stand against and resist you, for your behavior is willfully obstinate and contrary before Me".

Also Read: Love Fulfills the Law

Balaam was blind and could not see what an ass saw. In his blindness, he smote his innocent ass repeatedly for his own mistake and selfishness. How many times have we hurt and blamed others for our mistakes and selfish act? May the Lord help us to see clearly through His word and become better Christians not money seekers in Jesus name, Amen.

God knowing the heart of Balaam for answering the call of king Balak still gave him several opportunities to mend his way by sending His angel to block his way, opened the mouth of his ass to speak and finally God's angel spoke to him but did all these change Balaam's mind? Were his confessions in line with his heart? These and many more are questions we can also ask ourselves at every decision point as children of God.
This shows us that God doesn't want anyone of us to perish, He gives each and everyone of us equal opportunity to repent and mend our ways. I pray you will hear His voice and obey in Jesus name, Amen.

Most importantly, all these happenings were oblivious to the children of Israel. They never knew of what God was doing on their behalf, sometimes, instead of complaining and showing ingratitude for what God is yet to do, we should rather be grateful for what He is doing even without our notice. 

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