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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Numbers 23

Verses 1-30

  1. INTRO:
    1. This Sat night our 1st of our SSS(Sizzlin Summer Series): Victor Marx hosts Kevin Burnett (Chargers new Line Backer) - CCCM Band; Testimony; & Opp for a relationship w/Jesus.
    2. Illust: The early American Indians had a unique practice of training young braves. On the night of a boy’s 13th birthday, after learning hunting, scouting, and fishing skills, he was put to one final test. He was placed in a dense forest to spend the entire night alone. Until then, he had never been away from the security of the family and the tribe. But on this night, he was blindfolded and taken several miles away. When he took off the blindfold, he was in the middle of a thick woods and he was terrified! Every time a twig snapped, he visualized a wild animal ready to pounce. After what seemed like an eternity, dawn broke and the first rays of sunlight entered the interior of the forest. Looking around, the boy saw flowers, trees, and the outline of the path. Then, to his utter astonishment, he beheld the figure of a man standing just a few feet away, armed with a bow and arrow. It was his father. He had been there all night long.
      1. ​​​​​​​Let’s read about our Fathers protection when someone means to do us harm!
    3. Recap: Balak (king of Moab) wanted Balaam(prophet for hire) to curse Israel, & in so doing protect Moab & Midian (area children of Israel presently in before heading into promise land)
      1. 4 times Balaam stands over the people of Israel & is unable to curse them.
        1. Like a child building sandcastles against the tide (futile).
        2. Take God’s way & be at peace! :)
  2. PROPHET FOR HIRE!
    1. ​​​​​​​1ST PROPHECY! (23:1-12)
    2. God’s promises to Abraham must come true! (Gen.12)
    3. (10) So many believers talk about dying the death of the righteous, but not living the life of the righteous!
    4. 2ND PROPHECY! (23:13-26)
    5. (13) Balak tried again by moving to a new spot (also 27).
      1. Like many ancient people, he probably believed that the Lord’s power was confined to specific places. (Like Tribal god’s)
    6. (21) Certainly the Jews had sinned often, but as far as their standing before God was concerned, they were accepted.
      1. Humanly speaking, they were failures; but from the divine standpoint, they were the people of God forever.
    7. (23) Oh what God has done - The Eternal God is on your side not because you are perfect but because you have linked your little life w/Jesus Christ in His glory & beauty.
    8. 3RD PROPHECY! (23:27-24:14)
    9. (24:1,2) No longer enchantments; instead the Spirit of God came upon him & opened his eyes.
    10. (24:5-7) That’s the abundant life of the saint!
    11. (24:7) Balaam predicted they would eventually have a great king & kingdom.
    12. (24:9b) Balaam is actually condemning himself when he spoke this.
    13. 4TH PROPHECY! (24:15-25)
    14. (16) El (the Powerful One); Elyon (the Uplifted One); Shaddai (the Abundant/Almighty One).
    15. (17-25) Finally, Balaam predicted that Israel would defeat all their foes.
      1. Lit. crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of the sons of Sheth.
    16. (17) Christmas in July - here we have a prophecy about the Messiah to come.
      1. Could King David fits this description as he defeated the Moabites, Edomites, & other peoples. But the greater fulfillment is in Christ.
      2. He beheld a Person(Messiah) shining as a star, swaying a scepter, & conquering as He goes. [The Star of Jacob & Scepter of Israel]
      3. A beautiful picture of the Savior & the Victories He would win.
    17. Lessons:
    18. The power of God’s Word transcends the speaker’s weaknesses!
      1. God protects & blesses His Word no matter who delivers it.
      2. This principle in part explains how good things sometimes result from a flawed ministry.
    19. God cannot be manipulated.
    20. God is not limited by geographical setting.
    21. God’s Word cannot fail.
    22. Read 1 Pet.2:9,10
      1. [1] A People Separated! (23:9)
      2. [2] A People Justified, Governed, & Guided by God! (23:21b)
      3. [3] A People Victorious & Prosperous! (24:5)
      4. [4] A People of Hope! (24:17b).
    23. What can we learn from Balaam about the demands of being a spokesman for God?
      1. Read 23:12 & 26; 24:12,13.
      2. 1 Cor.9:16-18 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.
    24. Turn to Deut.23:5 & learn the blessed secret that explained Balaam’s failure! (love)
    25. Maybe at the end of our life we’ll be able to “play back our life’s tapes” & see difficult, scary situations we were in, & that behold there was a figure of a man standing just a few feet behind us, armed with a bow and arrow. That it was our Heavenly Father. And we’ll recognize...He had been there all life long!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Numbers 23". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/numbers-23.html. 2017.