SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
21:10 The Israelites traveled on and camped in Oboth. 11 Then they traveled on from Oboth and camped at Iye Abarim, in the wilderness that is before Moab on the eastern side. 12 From there they moved on and camped in the valley of Zered. 13 From there they moved on and camped on the other side of the Arnon, in the wilderness that extends from the regions of the Amorites, for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 This is why it is said in the Book of the Wars of the Lord,
“Waheb in Suphah and the wadis,
the Arnon 15 and the slope of the valleys
that extends to the dwelling of Ar,
and falls off at the border of Moab.”
16 And from there they traveled to Beer; that is the well where the Lord spoke to Moses, “Gather the people and I will give them water.” 17 Then Israel sang this song:
“Spring up, O well, sing to it!
18 The well which the princes dug,
which the leaders of the people opened
with their scepters and their staffs.”
And from the wilderness they traveled to Mattanah; 19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; 20 and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the country of Moab, near the top of Pisgah, which overlooks the wastelands.
21 Then Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites, saying,
22 “Let us pass through your land; we will not turn aside into the fields or into the vineyards, nor will we drink water from any well, but we will go along the King’s Highway until we pass your borders.” 23 But Sihon did not permit Israel to pass through his border; he gathered all his forces together and went out against Israel into the wilderness. When he came to Jahaz, he fought against Israel. 24 But the Israelites defeated him in battle and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as the Ammonites, for the border of the Ammonites was strongly defended. 25 So Israel took all these cities; and Israel settled in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages. 26 For Heshbon was the city of King Sihon of the Amorites. Now he had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken all his land from his control, as far as the Arnon. 27 That is why those who speak in proverbs say,
“Come to Heshbon, let it be built.
Let the city of Sihon be established!
28 For fire went out from Heshbon,
a flame from the city of Sihon.
It has consumed Ar of Moab
and the lords of the high places of Arnon.
29 Woe to you, Moab.
You are ruined, O people of Chemosh!
He has made his sons fugitives,
and his daughters the prisoners of King Sihon of the Amorites.
30 We have overpowered them;
Heshbon has perished as far as Dibon.
We have shattered them as far as Nophah,
which reaches to Medeba.”
31 So the Israelites lived in the land of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent spies to reconnoiter Jazer, and they captured its villages and dispossessed the Amorites who were there.
33 Then they turned and went up by the road to Bashan. And King Og of Bashan and all his forces marched out against them to do battle at Edrei. 34 And the Lord said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand. You will do to him what you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.” 35 So they defeated Og, his sons, and all his people, until there were no survivors, and they possessed his land.
22:1 The Israelites traveled on and camped in the rift valley plains of Moab on the side of the Jordan River across from Jericho. 2 Balak son of Zippor saw all that the Israelites had done to the Amorites. 3 And the Moabites were greatly afraid of the people, because they were so numerous. The Moabites were sick with fear because of the Israelites.
4 So the Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “Now this mass of people will lick up everything around us, as the bull devours the grass of the field.” Now Balak son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at this time. 5 And he sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates River in the land of Amaw, to summon him, saying, “Look, a nation has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are settling next to me. 6 So now, please come and curse this nation for me, for they are too powerful for me. Perhaps I will prevail so that we may conquer them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.”
7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fee for divination in their hands. They came to Balaam and reported to him the words of Balak. 8 He replied to them, “Stay here tonight, and I will bring back to you whatever word the Lord may speak to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9 And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 10 Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent a message to me, saying, 11 ‘Look, a nation has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Come now and put a curse on them for me; perhaps I will be able to defeat them and drive them out.’” 12 But God said to Balaam, “You must not go with them; you must not curse the people, for they are blessed.”
13 So Balaam got up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your land, for the Lord has refused to permit me to go with you.” 14 So the princes of Moab departed and went back to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”
15 Balak again sent princes, more numerous and more distinguished than the first. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak son of Zippor: ‘Please do not let anything hinder you from coming to me. 17 For I will honor you greatly, and whatever you tell me I will do. So come, put a curse on this nation for me.’”
18 Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, “Even if Balak would give me his palace full of silver and gold, I could not transgress the commandment of the Lord my God to do less or more. 19 Now therefore, please stay the night here also, that I may know what more the Lord might say to me.” 20 God came to Balaam that night, and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, get up and go with them, but the word that I will say to you, that you must do.” 21 So Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.
22 Then God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. 23 And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn in his hand, so the donkey turned aside from the road and went into the field. But Balaam beat the donkey, to make her turn back to the road.
24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a path among the vineyards, where there was a wall on either side. 25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed herself into the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he beat her again.
26 Then the angel of the Lord went farther, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she crouched down under Balaam. Then Balaam was angry, and he beat his donkey with a staff.
28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “You have made me look stupid; I wish there were a sword in my hand, for I would kill you right now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey that you have ridden ever since I was yours until this day? Have I ever attempted to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.” 31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his sword drawn in his hand; so he bowed his head and threw himself down with his face to the ground. 32 The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Look, I came out to oppose you because what you are doing is perverse before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned from me these three times. If she had not turned from me, I would have killed you but saved her alive.”