Have you ever considered the possibility that maybe, just maybe, God is placing obstacles in your path for your own protection? Such is the case in the life of the prophet Balaam. Balak, king of the Moabites, was worried about the coming Israelites so he sent for the prophet to come pronounce a curse on the wanderers from Egypt.
The news was spreading fast about what was happening to the nations as the children of Israel moved through the land and Balak was hoping to be able to avoid becoming another statistic. God told Balaam not to go with the princes sent by Balak (Numbers 22:12). Balak, not to be discouraged, had sent a second, more important, group of princes to repeat the request. Balaam again, asked God what he should do. God told him to go, but when he did God’s anger was kindled because he went (Numbers 22: 22). Why? God had already told him he should not go, however Balaam asked again the second time and God allowed him to exercise his free will.
There is a difference between the directive will of God and the permissive will of God. It is a wise child of God who can tell the difference and follow the directions God has given. Balaam was not so wise. God is longsuffering and gracious and used Balaam’s faithful donkey to protect him from danger. God placed an angel of judgment in the way.
The donkey saw the danger, but Balaam was oblivious. How often we are just like Balaam— completely oblivious? Three times the donkey tried to take Balaam out of the way of the danger and Balaam proceeded to chastise, complain and physically abuse the faithful beast. Often, God gives us faithful friends, parents or pastors to warn us of impending danger. Far too often, however, our eyes are closed to the danger, our will is strong and frustration sets in. May our eyes be open to the danger and our hearts receptive to the leading of the LORD.
How have you personally felt God's protection over your life?
Come and Gather: Family Time With God published with permission
Pastor Jeremy Sweatt, Farmington Avenue Baptist Church, West Hartford, Connecticut
Come and Gather: Family Time with God
Introducing Come and Gather: Family Time with God, or what we lovingly refer to as Gather.
Gather is a lovely, 35-page, daily devotional centered around families enjoying time together with God and each other
This 27-day devotional is divided into 3 parts:
Part One: Days 1-5, is written specifically with husbands and wives in mind. In this part of Gather, husbands and wives will explore 5 Signs of a Functional Family.
5 Signs of a Functional Family includes:
Part Two: Days 6-20, is written with the whole family in mind. It's A Walk Through God’s Word. From Genesis to Revelation we will discuss subjects like God's mercy and protection, being humble, dealing with difficulties, having a teachable spirit, dependence on God, and much more.
Part Three: Days 21-27, is a Men of God Character Study. We'll learn character traits that every Christian should strive to demonstrate in their life straight from characters in God's Word.
At the end of Gather, you'll find a place for your family to record specific prayer requests. I love being specific with my prayer request and seeing God answer in specific ways. Recording the answers, as well as the requests, is a great way to help your children see God working in your lives
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