IC@MK Sunday Service (25 Oct 2020)

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Posted by International Church at Mont Kiara on Saturday, 24 October 2020

The Certainty of God’s Good Plan (Numbers 22-25)

(For accuracy of this transcript, kindly refer to video or audio file)

Angel Falls in Venezuela is considered to be the tallest waterfall in the world, measuring almost 1000 m above sea level above the ground, that’s nearly a kilometer. Now, if you want to go to the waterfall that has the most water flowing, you would have to go to the continent of Africa to the Congo River. It’s estimated that this Inga Falls have on average, 46 million liters of water per second cascading over the rocks. Now, how easily do you think you could stop such a waterfall? Build a little wall, hold up your hands and keep the water back? It would be impossible. You and I could never stop a waterfall like this and neither can anyone hinder the work of God from the Book of Numbers chapters 22 to 25. This morning, we’re going to consider the certainty of God’s good plans that God’s promises to bless his people cannot be held back. There is no power which can thwart God’s good plans for his people. It’s a really fun story. We’ve come to here in Numbers, I’m going to guess most of you are familiar with this story. I’m going to enjoy retelling it. Let’s start by seeing the setting for our story, Numbers 22:1-4a, Then 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, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel. And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” Remember the location where we left off last week? God led the Israelites victoriously over the Amorites. And now we have a view down to the south on the other side of the Arnon River. How the Moabites, particularly their king, Balak have heard about these victories and are now fearful of the Israelites. And so, the Moabites are talking to the Midianites, a or some nomadic neighbors about what they could do, what strategy they could have against Israel. Numbers 22:4b-6, So Balak the son of Zippor, who was the King of Moab at that time, sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the river in the land of the people of Amaw, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and their dwelling opposite me. Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.” At this time in the ancient near East, divination was a widespread custom. Divination tells the future. You read the signs and then reveal secret hidden knowledge. And then the diviner could use certain rituals to put a curse on your enemies. Now, God had forbidden this kind of dark, supernatural power. It was done through demonic influence. And yet it was very common in the nations of this area. There are professional Seers professional prophets, who do this. And so, the strategy that we see King Balak coming up with is hiring a prophet by the name of Balaam. Now Balaam lived far away, way up by the Euphrates River, perhaps about 600 kilometers to the north. And yet his reputation was known far and wide. He had significant supernatural powers. Now the Bible isn’t the only place that mentions Balaam. We know, from other sources, he was a true historical figure. Back in the year 1967 archaeological dig in the modern state of Jordan, uncovered a plaster wall dated back to about 800 years before the time of Jesus. And on this plaster wall was on inscription or writing. And in this paragraph is the name the exact name we find in Scripture. Balaam, the son of Beor and he’s referred to as a powerful Seer, practicing divination. In other words, once again, the archaeology proves the Bible gives us an accurate record of history. Balaam is a real guy, even if it is a crazy story we’re going to look at today.