Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Importance of Listening to God

An important part of walking with God is learning to listen and obey his words. If I am being truly honest, sometimes this is often easier said than done. In everyone's journey with God there comes a time when you have to make the decision to listen and submit to God's plans for our lives.  The scripture tells us about one such case. In Numbers 22: Verses 1-35 we see that Balaam had to listen to the voice of God. Now this scripture is a very powerful one and there are many lessons that we can learn from it. The lesson I want to share from this scripture is the lesson of submission. 

I am going to briefly explain context of the scripture: 

The Israelites were journeying to the promise land. As they moved through the desert they killed and displaced a number of other nations and their leaders-the Canaanites and the Amorites- by God's commands (Numbers 22). The Moabite and the Midianite leaders heard about what had happened to the Canaanites and the Amorites and they became worried that the same thing would happen to them. So, they sent for Balaam to pronounce a curse on the Israelites, so that the Israelites could not overthrow them (Numbers 22: 1-7). 

Now that we have looked at the context, let us look at what God said. The scripture tells us that when Balaam prayed the Lord told him not to go with the Canaanite and the Amorite representatives. 

Numbers 22: 12-  "But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.”"
At this point,  Balaam listened to God and he sent  the Canaanite and the Amorite representatives away. However, again the Moabite and the Midianite leaders sent more emissaries to persuade Balaam.  Once again God told Balaam to listen and follow his instructions.

Numbers 22: 20- "That night God came to Balaam and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.”"

However, Balaam did not follow God's instructions. Needless to say, God was angry. God

sent His angel to block Balaam's path. However, Balaam was blind. He was not following the instructions he had been given; he was not relying on God.  In his spiritual blindness Balaam becomes angry and started to lash out at his donkey. It is important to note that the donkey was able to see what Balaam could not see. This shows us how far Balaam had gone from God.

If we stop and think, we would realize that we often become angry and frustrated when we do not listen to God's voice. It is important to note that often when we start our journey with God we listen and follow God's instructions just as Balaam did. However, as time passes we start to do our own thing and think we are following God's instructions when we are not.

 Another important point is God's voice often tries to prevent us from doing something that
will harm us whether it be physically or spiritually. Can you imagine if Balaam had gone and curse the Israelites, what would have happened to him? After all, the scripture tells us that the Israelites were blessed (Numbers 22: 12). So, instead of cursing the Israelites; Balaam would have cursed himself. We see that in the fact that the angel of God was prepared to kill Balaam if he had continued on his journey (Numbers 22: 32-33).

Some of the lessons we can take from this scripture are:

  • God's voice will never steers us wrong
  • If we do not follow God's voice we will become angry and frustrated
  • We cannot follow or hear God's voice if we are spiritually blind
  • If we do not listen to God's instructions and follows His voice we will be cursed
  • Those who do not follow God's voice will surely died


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