Do not fear….

Why we shouldn’t let fear take our joy away!

Last Friday, two passages came to my mind early morning….

First this one: Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” – Exodus 4:10-11,  our Lord our God equips us for what we are called for so we must not fear what others say or do, in fact they may wait for you or me to encourage them! If we don’t open our mouth and speak, they won’t know!

In Numbers 22 we read:

22 Then the Israelites moved and set up camp across from Jericho, on the plains of Moab east of the Jordan River. Balak, son of Zippor, saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. The Moabites were very afraid because there were so many Israelites. Besides, the Moabites couldn’t stand these people.

So the Moabites said to the leaders of Midian, “All those people will eventually eat up everything around us the same way an ox eats up the grass in a field.”

At that time Balak, son of Zippor, was king of MoabHe sent messengers to summon Balaam, son of Beor, who was at Pethor, on the Euphrates River, in the land where his people lived. Balak’s message was, “A nation has just come here from Egypt. They’ve spread out all over the countryside and are setting up their camp here in front of me. Please come and curse these people for me, because they are too strong for me. Maybe then I’ll be able to defeat them and force them out of the country. I know that whomever you bless is blessed and whomever you curse is cursed.”

The leaders of Moab and Midian left, taking money with them to pay for Balaam’s services. They came to Balaam and told him what Balak had said. “Spend the night here,” Balaam said to them, “and I’ll report to you what the Lord tells me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. God came to Balaam and asked, “Who are these men with you?” (…)

12 But God said to Balaam, “Don’t go with them! Don’t curse these people, because they are blessed.” 13 When Balaam got up in the morning, he said to Balak’s princes, “Go back to your own country, because the Lord has refused to let me go with you.” 14 So the Moabite princes went back to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”

15 Balak sent a larger group of more highly respected princes. 16 When they came to Balaam, they said to him, “This is what Balak, son of Zippor, says: Don’t let anything keep you from coming to me. 17 I will make sure you are richly rewarded, and I will do whatever you ask. Please, come and curse these people for me.”

18 But Balaam answered Balak’s servants, “Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I couldn’t disobey the command of the Lord my God no matter whether the request was important or not. 19 Now, why don’t you stay here tonight, as the others did, and I’ll find out what else the Lord may have to tell me.”

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

The Lord spoke to Balaam personally

21 When Balaam got up in the morning, he saddled his donkey and left with the Moabite princes.

22 God became angry that he was going. So the Messenger of the Lord stood in the road to stop him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, accompanied by his two servants. 23 When the donkey saw the Messenger of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn, the donkey turned off the road into a field. Balaam hit the donkey to get it back on the road.

24 Where the road went through the vineyards, it was narrow, with stone walls on both sides. Now the Messenger of the Lord stood there. 25 When the donkey saw the Messenger of the Lord, it moved over and pinned Balaam’s foot against the wall. So Balaam hit the donkey again.

26 Then the Messenger of the Lord moved ahead and stood in a narrower place where there was no room to turn to the right or the left. 27 When the donkey saw the Messenger of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam. Balaam became so angry he hit the donkey with his stick. 28 Then the Lord made the donkey speak, and it asked Balaam, “What have I done to make you hit me three times?”

29 Balaam answered, “You’ve made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I’d kill you right now.”

30 The donkey said to Balaam, “I’m your own donkey. You’ve always ridden me. Have I ever done this to you before?”

“No,” he answered.

31 Then the Lord let Balaam see the Messenger of the Lord who was standing in the road with his sword drawn. So Balaam knelt, bowing with his face touching the ground.

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