Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Numbers 23:19 (NIV)
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
Numbers 23:19 (MSG)
God is not man, one given to lies, and not a son of man changing his mind. Does he speak and not do what he says? Does he promise and not come through…
“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 and fulfill it?” –AMPLIFIED
Numbers 22-24 tells us the story of Balaam and his part in the history of God’s people. Balak, king of Moab has called upon Balaam, a prophet who was not an Israelite, to come and place a curse on the people of God. Things did not turn out quite the way that Balak, or Balaam for that matter, intended.
Balaam has every intention of doing exactly what Balak has asked him to do and sets out to do so. En route Balaam’s donkey suddenly becomes as stubborn as a mule when it sees an angel blocking the way; Balaam does not see the angel at first. The donkey, in fact, speaks to Balaam (which must have been quite the experience.) Finally, God opens Balaam’s eyes and he too sees the angel of the Lord who takes some time to set Balaam straight on what he can and cannot say or do.
We find Balaam receiving these instructions from the angel, ““Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s men. Once Balak saw Balaam he asked why he did not come more quickly. Balaam replies, “Well, I have come to you now. But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.” -Numbers 22:38 (NIV)
The next morning Balak and Balaam trudged up the hill to the top of Bamoth Baal; where they could look down upon the great mass of Israelites and their huge camp below. We will see from this point on things go from bad to worse for Balak. Balaam proceeds to give seven messages from God that are fantastic for the Israelites, but terrible for the Moabite king. By the end of the incident I am sure that Balak regrets ever sending for Balaam.
Our text is taken from the second message that God gave to Balaam. We see that Balaam opened his mouth and out came the following prophecy; “Listen up, Balak, and attend to these words: Hear, son of Zippor, what God has to say to you. God is not a man—He doesn’t lie. God isn’t the son of a man to want to take back what He’s said, Or say something and not follow through, or speak and not act on it. Look here, I received a word of blessing, and He has spoken a blessing. I cannot take it back. There is no vision of wrongdoing by Jacob; God has seen no trouble for Israel. The Eternal One abides among them; and the shout of a king is among them. God, who leads them out of Egypt, His splendor is like the wild bull: There is no divination against Jacob or enchantment against Israel. Soon, people will say of Jacob and Israel, “Look at what God has accomplished!” Look at this people rise up like a lion, like a lion who gets up and does not lie down until it devours its prey, even drinking the blood of the slain.” -Numbers 23:18-24 (VOICE)
God is not a man. He cannot lie. He will never change. What He says He will do, He will do. Has He ever spoken and not carried through on what He has said He would do? No! Has He ever made a promise and failed to follow through with it? Once again we must give a resounding, NO! Our God is immutable! That is a fancy word for unchanging. God will not and cannot change who He is. Meanwhile, mankind is constantly changing; what a huge distinction there is between us. I am so glad that we can always count on God.
God, I thank you that you are not like man; changing like the shifting winds, but you are immutable, unchanging. This shows me that I can always trust you and have a confidence in what you say. I can always believe you, because you do not lie. I can always count on you; for you said you would never leave me or forsake me. Every promise that you have ever made you have faithfully fulfilled. Thank you for being who you are my Protector, my Savior, and my friend. God, you are so good to me.