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The Book of Numbers 0004 - Lesson 7

Scripture Passage: 
Numbers 23:1-30; Numbers 24:1-13

Chapter 23:1-30 – Chapter 24:1-13

The Attempts of Balaam to Curse Israel

  1. INTRODUCTION
    1. Division of the Chapter
      1. The first attempt to curse Israel (Numbers 23:1-13)
      2. The second attempt to curse Israel (Numbers 23:14-27)
      3. The third attempt to curse Israel (Numbers 23:28-30; Numbers 24:1-13)
    2. The Number Three in this Chapter
      1. Three attempts to curse Israel
      2. Three blessings concerning Israel
      3. Three places of sacrifice
        1. High places of baal near Kirjath-huzoth
        2. The field of Zophim to the top of Pisgah
        3. The top of Peor looking toward Jeshimon
      4. Three sacrifices offered to God
      5. Three parts to the sacrifices
        1. Seven newly built altars
        2. Seven bullocks
        3. Seven rams
  2. THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO CURSE ISRAEL (Numbers 23:1-13)
    1. The Sacrifice (Numbers 23:1-2)
      1. The place (Numbers 22:39-41)
        1. Near Kirjath-huzoth which means a city of streets
        2. To the high places of Baal
      2. The altars
        1. Seven in number
        2. Newly built
      3. The animals
        1. Seven oxen
        2. Seven rams
    2. The Word from the Lord (Numbers 23:3-10)
      1. Balaam’s instructions to Balak (Numbers 23:3)
        1. Stay by thy offering.
        2. I will go.
        3. Peradventure the Lord will meet me.
        4. Whatsoever He shows me I will tell thee.
        5. He went to an high place.
      2. Balaam tells the Lord of his sacrifice (Numbers 23:4).
      3. The Lord responds to Balaam (Numbers 23:5).
        1. The Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth.
        2. Go to Balak and thus shalt thou say.
      4. Balaam returns to Balak (Numbers 23:6).
      5. Balaam speaks the words of God (Numbers 23:7-10).
        1. The purpose for his calling (Numbers 23:7)
          1. Come curse Jacob.
          2. Come defy Israel.
        2. His inability to fulfill his duties (Numbers 23:8)
          1. How can I curse whom God has not cursed?
          2. How can I defy whom the Lord has not defied?
        3. The greatness of Israel (Numbers 23:9-10)
          1. The people shall dwell alone.
          2. They shall not be reckoned among the nations.
          3. Who can number them?
          4. Let me die like they will die.
    3. The Response of Balak (Numbers 23:11-13)
      1. Balak’s frustration (Numbers 23:11)
      2. Balaam’s response (Numbers 23:12)
      3. Balak’s offer to compromise (Numbers 23:13)
        1. In response to Balaam’s words (Numbers 23:9)
        2. Balak desires to solve the problem of seeing all the people (Numbers 23:13).
  3. THE SECOND ATTEMPT TO CURSE ISRAEL (Numbers 23:14-27)
    1. The Sacrifice (Numbers 23:14)
      1. The place
        1. Into the field of Zophim meaning the field of watchers
        2. To the top of Pisgah
        3. This place was possibly a more elevated place than the last.
      2. The altars
        1. Seven in number
        2. Newly built
      3. The animals
        1. Seven oxen
        2. Seven rams
    2. The Word from the Lord (Numbers 23:15-24)
      1. Balaam’s instructions to Balak (Numbers 23:15)
        1. Stay by thy offering.
        2. While I meet the Lord yonder
      2. The Lord meets with Balaam (Numbers 23:16).
        1. The Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth.
        2. Go again to Balak and say thus.
      3. Balaam returns to Balak (Numbers 23:17).
      4. Balaam speaks the words of God (Numbers 23:18-24).
        1. The character of God (Numbers 23:19)
          1. God is not a man
            1. That He should lie
          2. Neither the son of man
            1. That He should repent
          3. Hath He said
            1. Shall He not do it?
          4. Hath He spoken
            1. Shall He not make it good?
        2. The commandment of God (Numbers 23:20)
          1. God commanded for Israel to be blessed.
          2. Balaam said he could not reverse it
        3. God’s view of His people (Numbers 23:21).
          1. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel.
          2. When compared to chapters preceding the story of Balaam, we know that God found iniquity among His people.  Therefore they must have had some benefit of imputed righteousness before the eyes of God.
          3. This is not uncommon in the Old Testament.
            1. The scripture deals with times when God did not impute a man’s iniquities to him (Psalm 32:1-2).
            2. The scripture deals with God giving to man His righteousness (Job 33:26; Psalm 24:3-5).
        4. God’s deliverance of His people (Numbers 23:22)
          1. God delivered them from Egypt.
          2. Israel had the strength of an unicorn.
        5. God’s protection of His people (Numbers 23:23-24)
          1. No enchantment can go against Jacob.
          2. No divination can go against Israel.
          3. It shall be said, “What hath God wrought?”
    3. The Response of Balak (Numbers 23:25-27)
      1. Neither curse nor bless them (Numbers 23:25).
      2. The Lord said to bless them (Numbers 23:26).
      3. Maybe God will be pleased to curse them from another place (Numbers 23:27).
  4. THE THIRD ATTEMPT TO CURSE ISRAEL (Numbers 23:28-30; Numbers 24:1-13)
    1. The Sacrifice (Numbers 23:28-30)
      1. The place (Numbers 23:28)
        1. The top of Peor
        2. Looking toward Jeshimon
        3. Possibly another increase is made in elevation.  These people are very superstitious.  Notice in verse 27 that Balak thought God might only be upset because of the place from which they were trying to curse Israel.
      2. The altars (Numbers 23:29)
        1. Seven in number
        2. Newly built
      3. The animals (Numbers 23:29-30)
        1. Seven oxen
        2. Seven rams
    2. The Word from the Lord (Numbers 24:1-9)
      1. A different approach by Balaam (Numbers 24:1-2)
        1. He did not seek for enchantments.
        2. He set his face toward the wilderness.
        3. He saw Israel abiding in his tents.
        4. The spirit of God came upon him.
      2. His claim to authority (Numbers 24:3-4)
        1. Himself (Numbers 24:3)
          1. Balaam the son of Beor hath said.
          2. The man whose eyes are open hath said.
        2. His experience (Numbers 24:4)
          1. He heard the words of God.
          2. He saw the vision of the Almighty.
          3. He fell into a trance.
      3. The blessings upon Israel (Numbers 24:5-9)
    3. The Response of Balak (Numbers 24:10-13)
      1. Balak’s anger toward Balaam (Numbers 24:10-11)
        1. I called you to curse mine enemies.
        2. You have blessed them three times.
        3. Now go to your place.
        4. I thought to promote you.
        5. The Lord kept thee back from honour.
      2. Balaam’s response to Balak (Numbers 24:12-13)
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 16:20

He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.