Numbers 23:25 MEANING

Numbers 23:25
23:11-30 Balak was angry with Balaam. Thus a confession of God's overruling power is extorted from a wicked prophet, to the confusion of a wicked prince. A second time the curse is turned into a blessing; and this blessing is both larger and stronger than the former. Men change their minds, and break their words; but God never changes his mind, and therefore never recalls his promise. And when in Scripture he is said to repent, it does not mean any change of his mind; but only a change of his way. There was sin in Jacob, and God saw it; but there was not such as might provoke him to give them up to ruin. If the Lord sees that we trust in his mercy, and accept of his salvation; that we indulge no secret lust, and continue not in rebellion, but endeavour to serve and glorify him; we may be sure that he looks upon us as accepted in Christ, that our sins are all pardoned. Oh the wonders of providence and grace, the wonders of redeeming love, of pardoning mercy, of the new-creating Spirit! Balak had no hope of ruining Israel, and Balaam showed that he had more reason to fear being ruined by them. Since Balaam cannot say what he would have him, Balak wished him to say nothing. But though there are many devices in man's heart, God's counsels shall stand. Yet they resolve to make another attempt, though they had no promise on which to build their hopes. Let us, who have a promise that the vision at the end shall speak and not lie, continue earnest in prayer, Lu 18:1.And Balak said unto Balaam, neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all. Signifying that it would be as well or better to do nothing at all, than to do what he did; but the sense is not, that he would not have him curse them, that he could never say, since he had pressed it both before and after this; wherefore the words should be rendered, as they are by some (p), "if in cursing thou dost not curse", or will not curse, "neither in blessing bless", or, however, do not bless: if he could not or would not curse Israel, he would not have him bless them on any account; if he could do him and his people no good in ridding them of their enemies, yet he desires him by no means to do them any harm by discouraging them and encouraging Israel.

(p) So Fagius, Vatablus; with which agree the Arabic version, and Noldius, p. 221. No. 1024.

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