Posts Tagged ‘Enemy’


Numbers 24:1-9,15-19 By now Balaam realized that the Lord was determined to bless Israel, so he did not resort to divination as before. Instead, he turned and looked out toward the wilderness, where he saw the people of Israel camped, tribe by tribe. Then the Spirit of God came upon him, and this is the message he delivered: “This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob; how lovely are your homes, O Israel! They spread before me like palm groves, like gardens by the riverside. They are like tall trees planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. Water will flow from their buckets; their offspring have all they need. Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted. God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a wild ox. He devours all the nations that oppose him, breaking their bones in pieces, shooting them with arrows. Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down; like a lioness, who dares to arouse her? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you”… This is the message Balaam delivered: “This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the foreheads of Moab’s people, cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth. Edom will be taken over, and Seir, its enemy, will be conquered, while Israel marches on in triumph. A ruler will rise in Jacob who will destroy the survivors of Ir.”

Balaam, the renowned diviner of the land undergoes a character transformation as noted in the last 2 chapters and now speaks wisdom that can only come from God. How is this relevant to us today? (more…)


Exodus 23:10-11,13,20-22,29-30 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove… “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips… “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you… But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

Being agrarian and shepherds by profession, these laws were written to deal with every issue the Israelites might encounter but the one purpose they were given these laws was to keep them walking God’s path and not falling away.

Today we do not follow these laws and therefore we wonder what God’s purpose is in revealing this to us? (more…)


1 Peter 5:6-11
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

One of the challenges of living is that we are constantly faced with choices and some of these choices are not easy to make. Sometimes it is an urge or craving that causes us to falter, sometimes it an offer of something that’s too hard to refuse, sometimes it is difficult circumstances in our lives which color our thinking and results in bad decisions, but there are always choices and wisdom is something we always wish we had. As a christian, it gets worse because we are called to live a life that glorifies God and in God’s sight all bad choices, whether ignorable or not in human eyes, are bad. How are we expected to make right choices and is God setting us up for failure? (more…)


Acts 13:6b-11
There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.”

There constantly was a conscious and orchestrated effort to stop the disciples from sharing the gospel and as the good news was being preached around the world, more and more people were being saved and many were being persecuted. Would it not be discouraging for the elect to continue to fight a never-ending battle? Was it not frustrating to them that everywhere they went, they were up against a never ceasing enemy? Would it not be simpler for them to live their normal, peaceful lives and not put themselves to such difficulties for a man who died many years ago?

To the ones who have found peace in Jesus, there is nothing or no one that can take it away. To the sinner saved by God’s grace, nothing can be more comforting and no hardship can cause them to stop sharing God’s goodness to the world. In Elymas (Bar-Jesus), Paul saw himself and God’s punishment spoken through Paul was evidence of what he was before he met the Lord. Today we are reminded of who we were (If we are now saved) or are and what we have become (Or can become) in the character of Elymas and Paul. The choice is simple, the rewards are eternal but the consequences could be temporarily harsh. Are you willing to be counted on God’s side?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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