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Numbers 23-24

Talks for Growing Christians

The Four Oracles of Balaam

Numbers 23-24

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Lesson Number 29

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The oracles of Balaam predicted Israel’s covenant blessing.
  2. The oracles of Balaam predicted Israel’s coming Messiah.

Practical Application

  1. You never know how God may use your personal quiet time.

Questions

  1. Why did Balaam direct Balak to set up seven altars with sacrifices?
  2. Did Balaam become a believer in the true God in this account?
  3. Where is the Messiah referred to in Baalam’s oracles?
  4. Balaam predicts the destruction of “Asshur” in Numbers 24:22. Who are these people?

Answers

  1. This was Balaam’s attempt to appease the mighty God of Israel, so he could curse the people.
  2. No, although he blessed Israel, it was through the intervention of God. The negative accounts of him in the New Testament imply he did not truly commit himself to the Lord.
  3. Numbers 24:17
  4. This refers to the Assyrians.

Discuss/Consider

  1. God made an unconditional covenant with Abraham and his descendants. That covenant is again confirmed by the oracles of Balaam. Review the promises of this covenant. Discuss how this unconditional covenant is still in effect today.
  2. All throughout the Old Testament, God foretells the Messiah He would send. Many of these prophecies were not understood until they were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Christ is the Greek word for Messiah, God’s “Anointed One.”

Challenge

  1. You never know how God may use your personal quiet time. He may use it to give you insight into some Scripture that would benefit a fellow believer. He can certainly use it to strengthen your faith. Are you allowing the Lord to minister to you through your quiet time?

Key Verses

  • “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced?” Numbers 23:8
  • “Balak said to Balaam, ‘I called you to curse my enemies, and look, you have bountifully blessed them these three times!’” Numbers 24:10
  • “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel.” Numbers 24:17

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