87. Don't try to buy God's favor

Balak, the Moabite King, wanted Balaam, the sorcerer, to curse Israel. He believed that those that Balaam curse, are cursed and those that Balaam bless are blessed. God told Balaam not to curse Israel for He had decided to bless Israel. But Balaam didn't listen. The lure of the money promised by Balak was one too many and in the end Balaam did go to Balak in the hope of 'twisting God's arm' and cursing Israel. Balak took Balaam to Bamoth-baal, from where he could see the Israelites spread out before him. There he wanted Balaam to curse the Israelites with a nice 'bird's eye view'. Balaam then told Balak:

"Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven young bulls and seven rams for a sacrifice." Balak followed his instructions, and the two of them sacrificed a young bull and a ram on each altar." Numbers 23:1,2

Then Balaam went to consult the Lord again to ask if he can curse Israel. He had hoped that the offering would have helped to change God's mind. Of course it didn't. God refused to allow Balaam to curse the Israelites. Instead God caused Balaam to speak a blessing over them. Balak was needless to say, very angry with Balaam. But he didn't give up. He took Balaam to yet another place, the plateau of Zophim on Pisgah Peak. He hoped that maybe God would allow Balaam to curse the Israelites from there. Again they built seven altars and offered a young bull and ram on each altar. Balaam again consulted with God. And God again refused and caused Balaam to bless Israel instead. Balak was very angry at the turn of events, but he didn't let that deter him. He took Balaam to yet another place, to the top of Mount Peor in the hope that God would allow him to curse the Israelites from up there. Again the same ritual was followed. Seven altars were built and a bull and a ram were offered on each. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Balaam and he started prophesying many blessings over Israel. This time King Balak was beside himself with anger.

"I called you to curse my enemies! Instead you have blessed them three times. Now get out of here! Go back home! I had planned to reward you richly, but the Lord has kept you from your reward." Numbers 24:10,11

I smile when I read this event in the Bible. How silly of King Balak and Balaam to try and change God's mind. They must have thought the sacrifices will please God and cause Him to change His mind over the state of Israel. And to make matters worse, they didn't offer it once or twice, but three times, thinking that the God of the Universe will change His mind if they do 'good'. But they were trying to 'buy' God's favor so to speak in order to commit evil in cursing the Israelites. What they didn't realize is that God's favor cannot be bought.

And today we must realize it as well. God's grace and favor cannot be bought. He will not give us 'extra points' if we help out at church. He will not heal us, just because we gave an extra offering this month. He will not bless you financially, just because you are serving on the church financial committee. All these things are wonderful things to do, don't get me wrong, but don't think it will buy God's favor. It won't. God loves you for who you are, and His grace is in abundance. And He will bless your faithfulness and your dedication to Him, but not always in the way you think, but in the way He knows is best. Beware of religion and doing things for Him because you think it will please Him. Rather follow the leading of the Spirit in your life and do what He tells you to do, not what you think is best.

Father please forgive us for thinking that doing good things for You is the way to win Your heart. Loving You is the most important thing, more important than doing things for You. Lead us where we need to work for You, but help us also to have the wisdom to know Your Voice. Thank you that we can know that You love us, no matter what. In Jesus Name. Amen

2 comments for “87. Don't try to buy God's favor”

  1. Gravatar of MariMari
    Posted Thursday, 15 May 2014 at 4:58:43 PM

    Amen!! So waar! Ons kan nooit God "koop" nie, want alles behoort aan Hom!

  2. Gravatar of RonelleRonelle
    Posted Friday, 16 May 2014 at 7:54:46 AM

    This is so true. You only need to read Romans to realise that all you need to do is believe. Faith is the key word. Paul says in Romans 9:16 "It does not therefore, depend on man's desire or effort,but on God's mercy."

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