“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” – Numbers 23:19 (NASB)
The Book of Numbers in the Bible is well titled. On two occasions 40 years apart a numbering the People of Israel happened. The first at Mount Sinai before Israel was about to enter the Promised Land but then refused to believe God and go into the land. The second numbering happened 40 years later before they actually did enter Canaan. Before that happened Balak the king of Moab, fearing the Israelites, summoned Balaam and hired him to curse Israel. God intervened, and instructed Balaam by giving his donkey the ability to speak. God instructed him to not curse but to bless Israel. When Balaam explained to Balak why he could not curse Israel, he said God had commanded him to bless them. Once given the blessing could not be revoked. Although Balaam was not a worshiper of God, he did understand who the God of Israel was. The words of our verse today were spoken by Balaam to Balak. Balaam knew he would have to do what God commanded and gave a blessing rather than a curse. God cannot lie or go back on His word, even for us today. Numbers 22-23 is the accurate record of what happened.
“Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” – Job 42:5 (ESV)
Job admitted to flunking God’s biology geology, astronomy, meteorology, zoology, and all examinations. Now he asked questions only to learn about God’s deeds. Job had only heard of God’s doings. The complainer was not an eyewitness of the act of Creation, a fact God called to his attention near the beginning of His first speech. Nor could Job even view firsthand many aspects of natural Creation. His perspective of God’s total workings was therefore limited and secondhand. But now Job has seen some awesome things about God. Max Lucado writes in his book “Begin again:” “He saw hope, lover, destroyer, giver, taker, dreamer, deliverer. Job saw the tender anger of a God whose unending love is often received with a peculiar mistrust. Job stood as a blade of grass against the consuming fire of God’s splendor. Job’s demands melted like wax as God pulled back the curtain and heaven’s light fell uneclipsed across the earth.” For Job it’s a thrilling view of God; a first-time experience. So Job confesses, “now my eyes have seen You”. It is a spiritual insight not physical vision and when this happens, our appreciation of God and his majesty is deepened.
The book of Job is not easy to read or to understand. When trying to grasp its truth as a whole, it seems nearly unreachable. Thanks to the daily devotional “All Up Words” by Max Lucado. Acknowledgement and thanks for some of these ideas is given to his words https://maxlucado.com/listen/now-i-have-seen-you/
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 (ESV)
Let’s take a look at a promise we find in a Scripture verse that has been quoted, sung and used in many ways. Most times it is used like a call for HELP! From folks in our country. When circumstances are not the best this verse is turned to as if it is a direct promise to all who call on God. It can be but it also might not apply. The context is Israel at the time of the dedication of the Temple built by Solomon. God give a prophetic warning because He knows His people will fall into disobedience to His Word. “Then,” says God, “I’ll stop the rain and send spoil your crops.” But for them and for us God gave a recourse, five steps to the blessing. First our standing – “called by my name.” Second, our posture – “humbled.” Third our action – “pray”. Fourth next action – “seek God’s face.” Fifth another action – “turn (repent) of our wickedness.” If we claim to have no wickedness, we lie. (1 John 1:6) When we want to use this promise as a means to restore our nations, we are obligated to first to the Five Steps.