See the LightBro. Tony Chancellor
2/3/2010 6:00 PM
And the children of Israel set forward and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.
And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox lacketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed. And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak. And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the Lord shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam. And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee? And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying, Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out. And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the Lord refuseth to give me leave to go with you. And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us.
And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they. And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people. And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more. And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? Behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. And the angel of the Lord said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
When God came to Balaam, he asked him, "Who are these men with you?" God knew who they were, and perhaps he was testing Balaam. Balak was only concerned with himself. He was focused on the wrong thing. He was blinded to the fact that these were God’s people.
Up to verse 20, it is an encouraging story. Balaam had already received his answer, there was no need to talk to God about it again. Balaam had a desire for things that weren’t of God. He should have sent them away.
"And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him…" Balaam was blinded to some things by his own desires. Sinner, the only reason some of you still live is because people are praying for you. Because they intercede for God’s mercy for you, you still have it. Even when you smite them, they’ll still intercede for you.
Balaam was in darkness and blind. He couldn’t see the angel. The angel stood ready to administer judgment. He couldn’t see the death that was in the way. Sinners are blind. They can’t see death that waits for them. There is hope. God can open their eyes and show them the light.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Balaam had God’s word and he ignored it. He refused the light. God’s word will light your path.
God sent the angel as an enemy against Balaam. The sinner is the enemy of God. There is no middle ground. You’re either his friend or his enemy. Let God’s word be a light to you.
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus; and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And hew as three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias: and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth. And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
Paul didn’t stop at threatening God’s people; he was slaughtering them. Balak stopped with cursing them. "And he said, Who art thou Lord?..." Paul answered his own question. He knew. He knew that Jesus was the Christ. "And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." He had a struggle going on in him.
This man had gone around destroying those that served Jesus. Don’t think you’re too far gone. Paul had killed and destroyed those that followed God. God saved him; he can surely save the sinner.
Darkness can’t stand where light is. "And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogue, that he is the Son of God." Look how different he became! It didn’t take long for the change to happen. The change confused people.
"But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ." His testimony was proof. He couldn’t have made this change on his own. The Holy Spirit made the change. There’s a great danger in not heeding the Spirit of God.
As Paul began to preach Christ, others began to try to kill him. Those ones were blinded. Balaam wanted to kill the donkey when it kept turning aside to save his life. Paul was trying to show them life and they wanted to kill him. Don’t stay in darkness when God shines his light on you.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
If you stay in your darkness too long, this could be you. You are putting yourself in a place of being past feeling, on several levels. You could be past caring how you affect others. You could be past feeling God’s drawing on you. God has to draw you to salvation. Salvation isn’t on your terms.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
If there is light of life, then darkness is of death. Jesus is the light of the world. Are you tired of walking around dead? When you’re in sin, you’re dead. As a sinner, you’re very self-focused. When God saves you, your focus expands and you see life around you. God invites you to follow him.
1 John 1:5-7
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
We can be cleansed of all of our sins. We can have true fellowship together. We can have fellowship with God. There is nothing better than this. You can’t fellowship with God and walk in darkness. You can walk with God and have light with him now. There is no darkness in him. Are you tired of your darkness?
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost…" If you are in sin, the gospel is hidden to you. The devil would blind you so that you can’t see Christ. Do you have his light shining in you?