Feb 24: Psalm 55; Numbers 22-24

Song for today:

But I call to God,
and the Lord will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he hears my voice.
He redeems my soul in safety
from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me.
God will give ear and humble them,
he who is enthroned from of old, Selah
because they do not change
and do not fear God.
•••
Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
from Psalm 55

the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was in great dread of the people
•••
So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam
•••
God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your own land, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.”
•••
Once again Balak sent princes, more in number and more honorable than these. ••• God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.” So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.
•••
But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary.
•••
When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”
Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me.
•••
the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.
•••
in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw a fraction of the people.
from Numbers 22

the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.” And he returned to him, and behold, he and all the princes of Moab were standing beside his burnt offering. And Balaam took up his discourse ••• How can I curse whom God has not cursed?
How can I denounce whom the Lord has
•••
Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place, from which you may see them. You shall see only a fraction of them and shall not see them all. Then curse them for me from there.”
•••
Balaam took up his discourse and said,••• God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
Behold, I received a command to bless:
he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.
He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob,
nor has he seen trouble in Israel.
The Lord their God is with them,
and the shout of a king is among them. ••• For there is no enchantment against Jacob,
no divination against Israel;
now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,
What has God wrought!’
•••
So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, which overlooks the desert.
from Numbers 23

And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his discourse
•••
the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
the oracle of him who hears the words of God,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
falling down with his eyes uncovered:
How lovely are your tents, O Jacob,
your encampments, O Israel!
•••
Blessed are those who bless you,
and cursed are those who curse you.”
•••
Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. And Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them these three times. Therefore now flee to your own place.
•••
And now, behold, I am going to my people. Come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days.”
•••
The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
the oracle of him who hears the words of God,
and knows the knowledge of the Most High,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
falling down with his eyes uncovered:
I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near:
a star shall come out of Jacob,
and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;
it shall crush the forehead of Moab
and break down all the sons of Sheth.
Edom shall be dispossessed;
Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed.
Israel is doing valiantly.
And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion
and destroy the survivors of cities!”
•••
Then Balaam rose and went back to his place. And Balak also went his way.
from Numbers 24

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s