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Opening Questions and Prayer:

  • When was a time you had to make a tough decision to do the right thing even when no one else was?

  • How did you overcome the fear and make the wise choice?

  • Why is it easy for people to turn from the path of righteousness and follow their own way?

  • What helps you stay on the path God has laid out for you?

  • Thank God for sending us Jesus to show us the way to live. Ask Him to teach you as you study His Word today.

Read Numbers 22:1-3

Numbers 22:1-3 (All Scripture is from the NLT unless otherwise noted)

1 Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho. 2 Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king, had seen everything the Israelites did to the Amorites. 3 And when the people of Moab saw how many Israelites there were, they were terrified.

  • Who is Balak?

  • Why are Balak and the Moabites terrified of the Israelites?

  • See Numbers 21:21-24

21 The Israelites sent ambassadors to King Sihon of the Amorites with this message:

22 “Let us travel through your land. We will be careful not to go through your fields and vineyards. We won’t even drink water from your wells. We will stay on the king’s road until we have passed through your territory.”

23 But King Sihon refused to let them cross his territory. Instead, he mobilized his entire army and attacked Israel in the wilderness, engaging them in battle at Jahaz. 24 But the Israelites slaughtered them with their swords and occupied their land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River. They went only as far as the Ammonite border because the boundary of the Ammonites was fortified.

  • What are some things that scare you?

Read Numbers 22:4-6

Numbers 22:4-6

4 The king of Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This mob will devour everything in sight, like an ox devours grass in the field!”

So Balak, king of Moab, 5 sent messengers to call Balaam son of Beor, who was living in his native land of Pethor near the Euphrates River. His message said:

“Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt. They cover the face of the earth and are threatening me. 6 Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse.”

  • What did Balak’s fear drive him to do?

  • Who is Balaam?

  • What are some ways people operate in fear?

  • How can you overcome fear and operate in faith?

  • What is one thing you can do this week to trust in the Lord’s ways instead of your own?

Read Numbers 22:7-13

Numbers 22:7-13

7 Balak’s messengers, who were elders of Moab and Midian, set out with money to pay Balaam to place a curse upon Israel. They went to Balaam and delivered Balak’s message to him. 8 “Stay here overnight,” Balaam said. “In the morning I will tell you whatever the Lord directs me to say.” So the officials from Moab stayed there with Balaam.

9 That night God came to Balaam and asked him, “Who are these men visiting you?”

10 Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent me this message:11 ‘Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt, and they cover the face of the earth. Come and curse these people for me. Then perhaps I will be able to stand up to them and drive them from the land.’”

12 But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!”

13 The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak’s officials, “Go on home! The Lord will not let me go with you.”

  • How did Balaam respond when prestigious people from the king came with money and a request to pronounce a curse on the Israelites?

  • When we are asked to go in a direction away from what the Lord would have us do, why is it harder to resist certain people than others?

  • What did Balaam do right in this encounter?

  • When faced with a problem, what can you do this week to stop and listen to the Lord first?

Read Numbers 22:14-17

Numbers 22:14-17

14 So the Moabite officials returned to King Balak and reported, “Balaam refused to come with us.” 15 Then Balak tried again. This time he sent a larger number of even more distinguished officials than those he had sent the first time. 16 They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him:

“This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don’t let anything stop you from coming to help me. 17 I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!”

  • What did Balak do when he was told “no”?

  • How does the enemy come back at us when we tell him “No!”? </