Focal Passages: Numbers 22:4b-6, 31-35; 23:19-23
It’s a new year! For many, this brings thoughts of gratitude about the previous year and excitement about the year ahead. There is overwhelming thankfulness for all the blessings God has provided. There is excitement and anticipation about all that God is going to do.
For others, however, the beginning of a new year is different. There are the ongoing burdens of last year – relationship burdens, financial burdens, family burdens, occupational burdens. And, if anything, the burdens of last year seem to be snowballing into an avalanche this year. In the midst of such challenges, our minds can easily gravitate toward these difficult circumstances rather than resting in our knowledge of our great God who sovereignly reigns over our circumstances and loves His people with an unconditional, everlasting love.
If you happen to find yourself in the latter category, allow God to use this week’s lesson to encourage you. Despite the fact that God’s people were in the midst of God’s 40-year discipline for their unbelief and unwillingness to enter the land God had promised to them, God still showed His covenant love for them and His faithfulness to keep His promise (Gen. 12:1-3). God did this in order to demonstrate His glory among the nations. In this particular case, God used some unusual circumstances and characters to demonstrate His covenant-keeping faithfulness. God used a pagan king’s desire to curse God’s people as an opportunity to show His determination to bless His people. God used a Gentile diviner to proclaim His blessing. And, God used a faithful donkey to save the life of this hot-tempered spokesman from immediate divine judgment. Even when His people didn’t see it, God was working.
So, are you rejoicing today in God’s faithfulness to you through Christ – perhaps in spite of your circumstances? Praise Him! If, today, you are overwhelmed with burdens and difficult circumstances, remember, God is sovereign and faithful. Trust Him, today and throughout this year, being grateful for His loving care for you.