This post is Day 10 in a series of studies about “Angels”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Angels – Day 10
Numbers 22 – The angel of The Lord stood in the road. – The Israelites here had grown in number and in reputation and were a formidable enemy. As they began to cross the plains of Moab all the Moabites were terrified, and were expressing their fear to the elders of Midian.
… The angel of The Lord stood in the road …
This is a strange story, but an interesting one.
The Israelites had grown in number and in reputation and were a formidable enemy. As they began to cross the plains of Moab, we read in verse 2 of this chapter that all the Moabites were terrified. They were expressing their fear to the elders of Midian.
In our day talking to the leader of a country hundreds of miles south would be fairly easy. But centuries ago, these leaders of people groups had very few possibilities of communication. We have no idea how they did it, but they worked together to avoid a disastrous conflict with the Israelites.
But this study is about angels, so we must move on.
Balak, king of Moab together with the leaders of Midian sent messages to Balaam, a seer, renowned for success in cursing and blessing. They him to come and curse the nation of Israel. It is interesting that the king of Moab was confident that cursing would work better than fighting!
Balaam refused to go with the delegation of Moabites who came to ask for help, until he had permission from God, which was NOT granted (Numbers 22:12). The officials then returned to Balak, who promptly sent a second delegation! This time God allowed Balaam to go, but with strict instructions to only do what He allowed (v 20).
The next thing we read is that Balaam set off on his journey. But God was angry, and sent “the angel of the Lord” to block the way. We are not told why God was angry, but the poor donkey suffered as a result!
Do you understand as Balak did, that cursing someone is real?
The Bible has much to say about the power of words. The book of proverbs has hardly a page that doesn’t mention speaking, or words or the tongue (Proverbs 11:12, 12:18, 18:21 and many more).
Thank God for the times when an angel “blocked your way” to somewhere, meaning that you avoided an accident or a long delay, whether you recognized it at the time or not.