Monday, May 24, 2010

Numbers 22.1-20, Luke 22.1-23 - Lectionary for 5/24/10 - Monday after Pentecost

Today's readings are Numbers 22.1-20 and Luke 22.1-23.

Balaam is a difficult character to deal with.  We see him as a prophet of some sort.  He has some sort of relationship with God, but he is not a prophet of Israel.  The author of Numbers clearly presents Balaam as hearing from God, quite directly.  He is also, at least at this point, presented as someone who has a genuine interest in obedience to the true God.  He would refuse a whole palace full of gold rather than go against what the Lord says.

For the moment, though it is an incomplete picture, I'd like to compare Balaam to the rest of us.  When asked a question he has a firm resolve to do what is right.  I think this is like most Christians.  We are confronted with a question and, at least as long as we are in the comfort and safety of our home environment, we will affirm what is right.  When I sit in my office, at my desk, comfortable, well fed, well rested, and not in any apparent danger I am ready to endure all sorts of threats and privations for the sake of the Gospel.  I expect almost all believers are.  But what will we do when we are put to the test?  I don't know.  I can't speak definitively for myself or for anyone else.  

We will see later that Balaam will ultimately sin against God in the way he deals with the Moabites.  But that is not for today.  For today, we leave him holding firm to the Lord's calling.

Lord, may we so hold firm to your calling that we become accustomed to a life of faithfulness to you.

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