“That Must I Speak”

“Balak said to Balaam, ‘Did I not send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me?..’ Balaam said to Balak, ‘Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak…’

“Balak said to Balaam, ‘What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have done nothing but bless them.’ And he answered and said, ‘Must I not take care to speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?..’

“And the Lord met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, ‘Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak.’ And he came to him,.. and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ And Balaam took up his discourse and said,

“‘Rise, Balak, and hear..:
God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
Behold, I received a command to bless:
he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it…’

“‘Did I not tell you, “All that the Lord says, that I must do”?’

“And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his discourse and said,

“’The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
    the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
the oracle of him who hears the words of God,
    who sees the vision of the Almighty…’

“And Balaam said to Balak, ‘Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me,  “If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the Lord speaks, that will I speak”‘?” Numbers 22:37-38; 23:11-12,16-20,26; 24:2-4,12-13

Though worldly enticement dangled before Balaam’s divided heart, God’s power overruled and His word went forth. What is true and irrefutable may be twisted or manipulated, but it cannot be undone or squelched. God’s man was shamed and humiliated. All He says He will do.

In what situations am I timid to introduce myself as one of God’s children or to speak His truth into spiritual darkness? Where have I squelched a message that God has clearly given out of fear or insecurity? God’s word is viable, powerful, and unstoppable. Will I take the opportunities He gives to boldly proclaim it? (Isaiah 55:10-11; Jeremiah 5:14; 20:9; 23:29; Hebrews 4:12)

What would it sound like, and look like, if God’s word were uncontained in me? How and where could it spill over in love-filled truth-telling, gracious correcting, or admonition that upbuilds? What might it add of grace, loftiness, and beauty to conversations and relationships? How can God’s word through me console, elevate, enlighten, encourage the many with whom I come in contact? (1 Corinthians 14:3; Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 3:16-17; 1 Peter 2:9)

Lord my Redeemer, may the words of my mouth be pleasing in Your sight and proclaim Your excellencies all the day. (Psalm 19:14)

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