Then King Balak demanded of Balaam, "What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies. Instead, you have blessed them!" But Balaam replied, "I will speak only the message that the Lord puts in my mouth." Numbers 23:12
After Balaam repented, his logical next step was to obey God. This time, God told him to go to Moab, but to only say what He tells him to say. Instead of cursing Israel, God told Balaam to bless the Israelites. Balaam obeyed. He blessed them. Balaam was finally obedient to God without hesitation.
Balaam's obedience is a true sign of repentance. It is evidence that he genuinely was remorseful for his action and wanted to be faithful to God. If Balaam did curse the Israelites and continued to mistreat his donkey, we might wonder whether he truly repentant.
Balaam's actions are a reminder that repentance is demonstrated by obedience. Just like with Balaam, if someone apologizes, but continues in the same behavior, we would have a hard time believing that apology. In the same way, when we repent, true repentance will be followed by our obedience. After all, if we are truly repentant, then we will change our behavior accordingly.
Balaam showed repentance through his obedient actions to God. He did not let the king, his messengers, or the promise of wealth influence him. He blessed the Israelites despite King Balak's request to curse them. His story throughout Numbers 22-24 does not start out well, but it certainly ends well. Not only did he repent when he recognized his wrongdoing, but he also showed his repentance through his obedient actions.
The call today is to follow Balaam's example. Not only was he truly repentant, he acted obediently because of his repentance. If you read yesterday's devotion, you were challenged to, like Balaam, repent from sin in your life. Today, the challenge is to demonstrate your repentance by obeying God.
In what area of your life do you need to repent? After repenting, what is one step of obedience you can take this week that will demonstrate your repentance? Write it down in your notes and take that step of obedience this week.
Read Numbers 23:1-12 (NLT)
Then Balaam said to King Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven young bulls and seven rams for me to sacrifice.” Balak followed his instructions, and the two of them sacrificed a young bull and a ram on each altar.
Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offerings, and I will go to see if the Lord will respond to me. Then I will tell you whatever he reveals to me.” So Balaam went alone to the top of a bare hill, and God met him there. Balaam said to him, “I have prepared seven altars and have sacrificed a young bull and a ram on each altar.”
The Lord gave Balaam a message for King Balak. Then he said, “Go back to Balak and give him my message.”
So Balaam returned and found the king standing beside his burnt offerings with all the officials of Moab. This was the message Balaam delivered:
“Balak summoned me to come from Aram;
the king of Moab brought me from the eastern hills.
‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me!
Come and announce Israel’s doom.’
But how can I curse those
whom God has not cursed?
How can I condemn those
whom the Lord has not condemned?
I see them from the cliff tops;
I watch them from the hills.
I see a people who live by themselves,
set apart from other nations.
Who can count Jacob’s descendants, as numerous as dust?
Who can count even a fourth of Israel’s people?
Let me die like the righteous;
let my life end like theirs.”
Then King Balak demanded of Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies. Instead, you have blessed them!”
But Balaam replied, “I will speak only the message that the Lord puts in my mouth.”