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Friday January 25 – Balaam: prophet against his own will

“… but speak only the word that I tell you.” – Numbers 22:35

Scripture reading: Numbers 22:22-37

Having seen what Israel had done with Sihon and Og, King Balak realizes that there is something special about this people, they are blessed. Conventional warfare will not stop them. If somehow he can take the blessing away or change it into a curse, then he can stop them. He turns to the expert in this field: Balaam. Balaam had the reputation of being connected to the spiritual world and his words were powerful. However, Balaam had to recognize that when the LORD blesses Israel, Balaam cannot change this. Balaam can only say what the LORD allows. This message is driven home to him by what happens on the journey. The donkey sees the Angel of the LORD and saves Balaam’s life three times. The donkey saw more than Balaam who was the expert in spiritual matters! What an irony! He admits he is no match for the LORD God. In the chapters that follow we find some of the most beautiful prophecies about God’s faithfulness coming from the mouth of Balaam. The LORD will fulfill His promises and no evil spirit can stop Him.

First, the enemy tried to stop Israel with force. The next attempt is by demonic powers. The LORD shows that demonic powers are under His control. We are involved in a battle with forces in the air. We need not be overwhelmed by it. Christ has disarmed the demons on the cross (Colossians 2:15). Therefore, they cannot separate us from God’s love in Jesus Christ.

Suggestions for prayer

 Thank the Lord that Christ is King and that the demonic powers cannot stop His work. Pray that we are not intimidated by Satan’s power, but be strong in the Lord and His might. Pray that we may use the whole armor of God.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Douwe G. J. Agema is currently minister of Living Word Canadian Reformed Church in Guelph and also teaches several courses at Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers’ College.


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