BLESSED AND FAVORED OF GOD
Yes, please do take some time today to remember what happened 15 years ago. Take some time today to pray for our nation. Hopefully God will spare that time, the thing from happening again, and pray for all the people that are out trying to prevent that from happening.
Numbers chapter 23; 1-6, as most of us know, there was a prophet, a gentile prophet named Balaam, and there was a king who was the bad guy in the story. Actually, a historical event is the proper way of saying it. Balak was the guy who called Balaam and said there are some Israelite people that are trying to cut in on our territory. Would you please come and curse them. Now, I left off at verse 6 but I’d like to finish 23 and pick up there and read through 13. Verses 7-13, and Balaam is the one.
“He took up his discourse and said, ‘From Aram Balak has brought me, Moab’s king from the mountains of the East, Come curse Jacob for me, and come, denounce Israel!’ ‘How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how can I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced? As I see him from the top of the rocks, And I look at him from the hills; Behold, a people who dwells apart, And will not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, And let my end be like his!’ Then Balak said to Balaam, ‘What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have actually blessed them!’ He replied, ‘Must I not be careful to speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?’ Then Balak said to him, ‘Please come with me to another place from where you may see them, although you will only see the extreme end of them and will not see all of them; and curse them for me from there.’”
The whole point of this is that Balak is really wanting a curse brought down upon the children of Israel, the kids of Jacob that are returning out of the land of Egypt. Moses is leading them, but the most important part of this for today is where he said; Will you please come with me to another place where you can see the children from another vantage point. In verse 13 it says, “Where you may see them, although you will only see the extreme end of them and will not see all of them.” So, what he’s asking Balaam to do is he says; Okay, you curse them standing over here. Would you please come with me and have another look at these people?
It’s a great number of people out there, probably 2 million roughly, give or take a few thousand, and he says; Will you come over here and have another look at these people? I want you to see them. I want you to take a good look at these people. I want you to find a fault. I want you to find a way. I want you to find a reason to curse these people. I want you, Balaam, to take a good look at these people and find some reason that you can call a curse down upon them. That’s what’s going on. He is asking this guy to look on the people and find a way of bringing a curse.
Verses 21-24 go on with the story. Balaam now is prophesying again and he’s talking about God. God, “He has not observed misfortune in Jacob; Nor has He seen trouble in Israel; The LORD his God is with him, And the shout of a king is among them. God brings them out of Egypt, He is for them like the horns of the wild ox. For there is no omen against Jacob, Nor is there any divination against Israel; At the proper time it shall be said to Jacob and to Israel, what God has done! Behold, a people rises like a lioness, And as a lion it lifts itself; It will not lie down until it devours the prey, And drinks the blood of the slain.”
What’s going on here? He’s saying I want you to come over here and have another look at these people. I want you to find a way of cursing them. I want you to go after them. They did the whole sacrifice thing again on the altars and this time Balaam comes over and he says I looked at them. I had a good look at them and I’m going to tell you what God said about these people. God said I find no fault in these people, no omen. That’s no sign. There is no sign. There is no fault. There is no reason. These people are honored. They are not cursed. God Himself is the One who is blessing them. I have looked at them and I’ve looked at them from the point of view of God and there is no way of cursing these people.
Were these a perfect people? Oh, no, we know they weren’t perfect. We know of all the things they have done earlier because if you read earlier in the chapter of Exodus and then you go into Numbers and read you’ll find out that these were not a perfect people, but what had happened is that their priesthood, Moses priesthood, the Aaron priesthood, the High Priest and the other priests had made offerings every day on behalf of these people, the children of Israel. They had sinned, they had stumbled, and yet they were making the perfect sacrifice, and because of that sacrifice which was just an animal, a lamb or a goat or a bull, whatever offering was required for that day, because of that sacrifice God saw no fault in these people.
So, Balaam said I can’t find a reason to curse them, I can’t find a reason to bring down the wrath of God. There is nothing there on these people. God looks at them and He says I see a blessed people. I am with them and I will bless them and one of these days it will be spoken of them about how blessed they are and there’s a king among them. He is basically saying; You listen to all those people down there talking. You listen to all the noise that is coming out of that camp. Out of that, out of that camp, there is the voice of a future king. We know that that future king is not Saul, is not David, is not Solomon. We know that the future king of Israel is Jesus Christ Himself. He says there’s the voice of a king in this group. There’s going to be a descendant of these people who is going to be so blessed of God.
He’s standing there saying I can’t curse them. I can’t curse them because they are a blessed people. I can’t find a reason to grudge these people because God has recognized the sacrifice. What does this mean to us? Well, it’s this. In Hebrews, that’s a New Testament book, in Hebrews it says that our sacrifice is not the sacrifice of the blood of lambs, bulls, oxen, goats. Our sacrifice is the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Balaam was saying that he could find no fault with the people of Israel because of the lamb sacrifice, because of the critter sacrifice that had been made on their behalf. There is only one human that I know of that God has recorded in His Word where the statement is properly made, “I find no fault in Him.”
The children of Israel, God didn’t see a fault in them because there had been a sacrifice made, a blood sacrifice. A life had stopped so that their sins could be wiped away. The life of the lamb had stopped so that their sins could be blocked out, could be covered, could be atoned for so could not be seen. That’s why, I keep pointing this out, what color is sin? The color of sin is not black, it’s red so that if you have red sin and then you pour out the life blood over the top of it all you will see is red, which is the blood sacrifice. God no longer sees the red sin written out below it. All He sees is the red blood sacrifice that covers over it and blots out our sin. It’s totally gone. It’s wiped away.
He says the sacrifice of Christ is better than the bull and oxen sacrifice that was made, and Jesus Himself, the Man Himself, this is not said of Israel, this is not said of Doyle, this is not said of any of you, I find no fault in Him. Jesus is the only man that did not need a blood sacrifice. He is the only man that did not need a lamb. He is the only man that did not need an oxen or a goat to cover His sin because He had no sin. He was the perfect man. He was God in flesh. He was God walking around in a body. He was God hanging out with His people. He is the Son of God, the second person of the Godhead and He has no fault. This man, Jesus, had no sin. He never needed a sacrifice. Christ and Christ alone as it said, “I find no fault in Him.”
What all this comes to mean to us is this. The blood of Christ blocks out our sin, blocks out our reason to be cursed. That King Balak kept asking that prophet, Balaam, look for a reason, find a cause and take a good look at them. If you can’t see a reason from this side, let’s go on to this side of the camp and see if you can find something wrong with the people from this angle and have another good look at them. Well, I could tell you guys this. Because of the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, because if you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior in your life the blood has covered your sin and the devil can walk around and look at you from the right side and say I can’t find a fault because this side, the blood is covering all the scarlet ink that has written out their sin.
I’ll walk over here and I’ll look in the left side of them. I can’t find a fault against them either. The blood of Christ is covering their sin from here. I’ll stand behind them and I’ll look at them. I can’t see the fault. I’ll stand in front of them and I’ll look at them. He can say they know what their fault is so I’ll just sidle up to them and say you should feel bad about yourself. You should feel guilty about yourself. That’s the devil talking. That’s the devil talking. Don’t listen to him. Listen to what God says. We have Balaam, the prophet, standing on the east side, standing on the west side, standing on the north side, standing on the south side looking at these people and he is saying God sees no fault in them. I can’t find a reason to curse them.
God says these are blessed people, and if He says it for those people who only used a goat or a lamb to make a sacrifice with how much more are our sins forgiven because His own son has covered our sins with His blood. No other sacrifice will ever need to be made on our part where the children of Israel had to do this daily, weekly, yearly. There were certain sacrifices had to be made and every time you made a sin that was major and you had the money and the wherewithal to get to the temple or the tabernacle you were to take a sacrifice there and say I sinned and I ask you to make an offering on my behalf for the sins that I’ve committed so thy will be covered and blotted out. It’s different for us. We never have to have another sacrifice.
His sacrifice at one time was a good enough reason and from now on we are a people that God looks at just like He looked at the children of Israel and said these, this is God, these are a blessed people. That is how God sees us. God looks at you, God looks at me and says this is a blessed people. You might not feel it. You might be in a cranky mood. He’ll come to this side and He says I still see a blessed person. You could be really cranky but yet what He sees is Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us. He sees no fault in us because there is no fault in our sacrifice. God looks at us, God looks at me, God looks at you, God is looking at this church but we want to keep it very personal right now. What does He see when we’re assembled? What does He see with you when you’re not here, when you’re not assembled and you’re just by yourself?
God says I see no fault. God says I see no reason. God says there is no way that I am going to bring a curse on these people. These are My chosen people. These are the people that I am leading out just like Moses and Joshua led the children of Israel out of Egypt and bondage. When we called on Christ He said these are My people. You became one of His and He says I’m leading this person out of bondage. I’m leading this person. Just like He did the children of Israel out of Egypt I’m leading them out of and I’m taking them to a promised land. Yes you might have troubles, yes you might do things that are imperfect, but you had that perfect sacrifice.
God Himself, through Jesus Christ, through the indwelling Holy Spirit that dwells within me, dwells within you, and is here present in this assembly. He is doing what? He is leading us to a promised land. He is leading us to a better future. He is leading us, guiding us, and He says all I see for the people in Glenwood is blessing and favor from Me. They are not going to be cursed from Me. They are going to be blessed from Me because they have trusted in My Son. You, whether you believe it, whether you feel it, but once you accepted Jesus Christ, you became a blessed person. You became a favored person. You can be bummed out but you can say I’m still favored of God. Things aren’t right, but I’m still favored of God. Take our eyes off our problems and look to that sacrifice and say; Because of that, I am blessed of God, and the things that are going on in my life are only there and they are preparing me, they are making me better.
Somehow, someway, God will use the bad things that happen to me. Those bad things are not a curse from God. Those bad things are a curse from the devil. Those bad things are stumbling. Those bad things are what other people bring into your life or you brought with you into the Christian life and you can say; They’re there, but He is leading me out of them. He is leading me through them. He is taking me through those valleys of hard times. There’s a place in the Old Testament where it talks about this valley and He changes it like from the name the Valley of a Curse to the Valley of a Blessing. God is taking our cursed valleys and He is changing them into blessed valleys and He is leading us into places of blessing.
Keep the faith, keep walking and looking forward because we are the people of grace. We are the people that are growing in grace. We are people growing in the favor. We are people who are going to and have experienced blessing. Just because hard times, rough times are with us, nothing, and I repeat that, get this, nothing, absolutely nothing in this world is permanent. Nothing. So, if you’ve got bad times in your life remember that. Bad times aren’t going to stay. It’s not going to be this way. I’m not going to be miserable forever. There is a light and that light is Jesus Christ. I have a blessing and that blessing is going to manifest itself, reveal itself to me, and I’m walking by faith and not by sight. I am a blessed person.
I am blessed, I am chosen, I am led, and I am loved. I am loved. That is an amazing concept. The supreme being of all the universe that called us all into existence and all the stars and everything we see focused upon us, and like the Psalmist says, what is man that you even think about us, but He thinks about each and every one of us, each and every day and says I like that kid, I like that person, I like that lady, I like that man. They’re mine and I’m going to do right by them. Just keep following kids. Just keep following and walking. Blessings are coming. Everything in this world is temporary and this too shall pass and blessings will come.
Well, the blessings are in this world. The blessings that we experience in this world they come, they go, they ebb, they flow, but there’s always going to be a consistency. There are more blessings coming. God is not short on blessings. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and his barn is stocked full. His storehouse is stocked full. He’s got blessings in excess. He’s got so many blessings for us He had to build all these universes and galaxies and worlds and planets just to store them all because there’s potential out there for us and He will bring it to us. Be encouraged, be of good cheer. You are loved. You are blessed. You’re growing and you’re being led.
Shall we pray? Father, in the name of Jesus glory and honor to You. Thank you for what Your Son, Jesus, did for us. All glory and honor to Him both now and forever. Father, I get down or I get grumpy, I have bad days. Remind me that You are on my side, that You are leading, You are guiding, and You are blessing and as I see that and walk in faith not by sight I will experience that grace much, much more. Father, bring it to mind, enlighten me in this. Holy Spirit I acknowledge You in all my ways. I acknowledge You in all the ways of this church. I take the risk of going out and even saying I acknowledge you in all the ways of the people who are assembled here. Father, bring them a blessing and bring it just as soon as you can and make it a big one that causes them to stand in awe. All glory and honor to you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.