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He Went His Own Way

Words of Faith Final

He Went His Own Way

Words of Faith 7-17-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 24

    [25] Then Balaam got up and returned home and Balak went his own way.


        Chapter 23 and 24 of Numbers relate the fascinating and wonderful oracles of Balaam regarding Israel.  Four different times Balak tried to get Balaam to curse Israel but the only thing that came out of his mouth was blessing! 

      Balaam predicted that Israel was strong as a wild ox and could not be beaten.  He predicted the coming of a star out of Jacob, a scepter out of Israel (24:17), a clear prophesy of the coming of Christ! 

       These oracles were rich blessings pronounced by God through Balaam upon the people of Israel.  Balak must have been furious because he had hired Balaam to do just the opposite—to send curses upon Israel!  He ended up not paying Balaam, and the two parted ways.  But what then?

         It is interesting that even after all that, Balaam did not join with the Israelites.  He went home.  The text says that he went his own way.  We don’t know what Balaam immediately did, but it appears that he went back to the old ways of pagan worship and sorcery.  After all, it was the only life he knew.

          Balaam probably realized that there was no money to be made when matters concerned the God of Israel.  No matter how powerful that reality was, he did not join with the Israelites.  He turned away.  He went his own way.

         This is strange because, in the Bible, there actually is some precedent for foreigners joining the Israelites in their pilgrimage when they observed the mighty power of the true God.  Many Egyptians had joined with the Exodus after seeing the power of God through the plagues. (I know I would have!) Hobab, the brother-in-law of Moses, joined the group.  We will see Rahab join with the people of God after the fall of Jericho and actually become part of the lineage of Jesus.  Ruth, the Moabitess, will join with the people of God and the line of Christ.  So why did Balaam turn away even after encountering God in such a powerful way?

          There is a fundamental precept here.  Not everyone is really looking for the truth!  Balaam was renowned in his time as a "spiritual man.”  He had a close encounter of the third kind-- actually meeting the angel of the Lord and hearing from God!  Yet... Balaam did not turn toward the one true living God even when he met him.  In fact, the next time we see Balaam, he will be fighting on Balak's side in a final battle, and he will be killed (Numbers 31:8).

         Yes, you heard that right.  Balaam, the guy who prophesied the continuing victory of the Israelites, their great strength, and the might of their God decided to fight against them.  His donkey might well comment at this point-- “And just who did you say was stupid?”

           The powerful truth for us here is to realize that even those who see the power and truth of God clearly do not always turn to Him.  And just because someone has had a powerful “spiritual experience” or encounter with God does not mean that they belong to God.  The fundamental move toward God is still surrender.  Balaam never surrendered to God!  Even when a donkey talked and an angel met him, Balaam never surrendered to God.

          Today there are many people who have been blessed by God but have never surrendered to God.  There are people who have been healed by God, or guided by God, or may have even “heard from” God, but they have not surrendered to God. 

          Jesus said: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (That is surrender).  Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'  Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' (Matthew 7:21-23)

            Have you surrendered to God?  The new life that God offers has nothing to do with how many goose-bumps you got at a meeting or whether you sensed the powerful presence of God at some point.  It is about surrender.  Have you surrendered to God?  Surrender is daily.  The Lord God does not want your endorsement, He wants you.  He does not want your witness. He wants you. 


           I surrender to You, O Lord.  Take me as I am and make me what You want me to be.  Forgive me of my sin and use me as You please.  Take all that I am and all that I have and use me for Your glory and cause.  In Jesus’ name.


SPECIAL NOTE: A Brief Hiatus

Due to a server access problem, Words-of-Faith will take a brief Hiatus through the end of the month.  I look forward to connecting with you the first week of August.  Words-of-Faith Devotions have been delivered by email to subscribers for the last 22 years with very few interruptions. People often tell me it is a blessing to go back through the devotions or catch up on the ones they missed reading. I am praying for you during these times and will connect soon.

Blessings in the Word,

Pastor Jeff Hoy
Words-of-Faith Daily Devotions


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.