Understanding the Scriptures
|Distressed (v. 3)||Worried|
|Lick up (v. 4)||Eat, consume|
|Abide over against (v. 5)||Settled next to|
|Prevail (v. 6)||Win|
|Rewards of divination (v. 7)||Money for prophesying|
|Lodge (v. 8)||Stay|
|Hinder (v. 16)||Stop|
|Smote, smitten (vv. 23, 25, 27–28, 32)||Hit|
|Perverse (v. 32)||Wrong, wicked|
|Defy (vv. 7–8)||Go against|
|Reckoned (v. 9)||Counted, considered, noticed|
|But the utmost part (v. 13)||Only part|
|Enchantment, divination (v. 23)||Fortune telling|
|Wrought (v. 23)||Done|
|Nigh (v. 17)||Near|
|Sceptre (v. 17)||A staff a ruler holds to signify his power. In this case, the capital S refers to the Messiah, who is the ruler of Israel.|
|Valiantly (v. 18)||Strong and courageously|
|Have dominion (v. 19)||Rule|
|Wasted (v. 22)||Destroyed|
Numbers 22:20–35—Why Was God Angry at Balaam for Doing What He Was Told?
The Lord told Balaam that if the Moabite princes asked him to accompany them again he should go only to say the words the Lord would tell him to say (see Numbers 22:20). Verse 21 records that Balaam simply got up the next morning and started on his way. Some have noted that it appears that Balaam had his heart set on the money offered for his services (see 2 Peter 2:15); he left without any intention of following the Lord. Consequently, he had an experience with his ass and an angel with a drawn sword that demonstrated he should listen to the Lord. At the end of his experience, the Lord reminded Balaam once more that he could go with the princes but only if he would say the words the Lord would give to him (see Numbers 22:35).
Studying the Scriptures
Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study Numbers 22–24.
Is Your Integrity for Sale?
Just like Balak wanted Balaam to go against what he knew was right for money (see Numbers 22), how do you see people today going against what they know is right for money or the opportunity to be “promoted … unto very great honour”? (v. 17).
Write about someone you know who gave up money and honor to do what he or she knew was right.
Give a Character Reference
Imagine you are Balak, and another king in the area wrote you because he was thinking about hiring Balaam to curse his enemies. Write what your response would be and include what happened the three times he asked Balaam to curse Israel (first time: Numbers 23:1–13; second time: Numbers 23:14–30; third time: Numbers 24:1–13).
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