Numbers 23-25, Mark 7

Numbers 23:12
So he answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth?”

It seems for the moment that Balaam has learned his lesson, at least this time around. Oh how important it is, that we speak only that which the Lord has put in our mouths.

Numbers 24:17
“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult.

Here is a clear prophetic utterance speaking of Jesus. In Revelation 22:16, Jesus refers to Himself as the ‘Bright and Morning Star’. A ‘scepter’ is ‘a rod or wand borne in the hand as an emblem of regal or imperial power. In Hebrews 1:8 we read, But to the Son (Jesus) He (God) says: “Your throne, O God (notice that God calls Jesus ‘God’), is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”

Numbers 25:1-2
1 Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. 2 They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.

Some parties we would be better off not attending. Falling into sin doesn’t happen over night. It is a progressive sort of thing (James 1:14-15). We must take the enemy’s desire to draw us into sin very seriously. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” As Christians we must be careful of who we get too close to, lest we end up in a bad place.

Mark 7:6
He answered and said to them, “ Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.’

It is easy to honor God with our words and yet fail to honor him with our actions. This was the sin of the Pharisees, the religious rulers of the day. It is a sin that we can all fall into if we don’t keep our guards up. The greatest safeguard against this, is a daily surrender to His authority and a constant reflection on what Jesus did to deliver us from the bondage of sin. The more we think about it, the more we love the Lord, and the more we love the Lord, the more we desire to put that love into action.

Mark 7:21-23
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

Jesus speaks here of the depravity of a man’s heart. All one has to do is open their eyes and look around at the world today and they will see stark evidence of the truth of what Jesus says here. We know that we were once like this, and our lives reflected as much. We also know, that Jesus saved us and gave us a new heart. And even though we can be tempted by some of these things at times, in Christ we are able to rise up completely victorious. What a great and glorious truth this is!

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