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Numbers 22

Talks for Growing Christians

King Balak of Moab Hires Balaam to Curse Israel

Numbers 22

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Lesson Number 28

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The enemy will try to prevent God from blessing His people.
  2. The enemy cannot prevent God from blessing His people.

Practical Application

  1. You must do more than just say, “I have sinned.”

Questions

  1. Who was Balak and why was he afraid?
  2. Why did the Moabites not need to fear the Israelites?
  3. Who was Balaam?
  4. Should Balaam be remembered as a good guy or a bad guy?
  5. Does God ever curse His people?

Answers

  1. Balak was the pagan king of Moab. He was afraid because he heard how the Israelites had defeated the Amorite kingdoms of Sidon, king of Heshbon, and Og, king of Bashan. He thought the Moabites were next.
  2. God had told the Israelites not to conquer Moab, because the Moabites were descendants of Lot, and therefore related to the Israelites.
  3. Balaam was a pagan diviner whom Balak hired to curse the Israelites.
  4. He could perhaps be considered a good guy, because he eventually blessed Israel at God’s command. On the other hand, he did not intend to be a prophet of the one true God, and he hired himself out to curse people. The New Testament refers to Balaam negatively (2 Peter 2:15-16 and Revelation 2:14).
  5. No, God does not curse His people. He may punish His people, but the goal of His punishment is always to bring His people into right relationship with Him, so He can bless them.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Satan hates to see God’s people blessed. He always tries to prevent God from blessing His people, then and today. Discuss the numerous ways in which Satan has tried to curse the nation of Israel throughout history. He has tried to destroy the Jews from Egypt to the Holocaust.
  2. The enemy cannot prevent God from blessing His people. Despite the devil’s schemes, God pours out abundant blessings on His children. Discuss the ways in which God has blessed you, as one of many believers and as an individual.

Challenge

  1. Balaam sounds repentant after his encounter with the Angel of the Lord (Numbers 22:30-35). But He never committed himself to the Lord. We know this by the rest of his actions in Numbers and the record of him in the rest of the Bible. Have you not only admitted you are a sinner, but also accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? Jesus took the punishment for your sins on the cross. Don’t let today pass without believing this.

Key Verses

  • “Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel.” Numbers 22:3
  • “Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way.” Numbers 22:31
  • “They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” 2 Peter 2:15

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