Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 10, 2014

“But you are a chosen race”: Chosen by God to be Blessed in His Beloved Son Jesus Christ!

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers 22:1-14.

“1 Then the sons of Israel journeyed, and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan opposite Jericho.

2 Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.  3 So Moab was in great fear because of the people, for they were numerous;  and Moab was in dread of the sons of Israel.  4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this horde will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.”  And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.  5 So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people came out of Egypt;  behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me.  6 Now, therefore, please come, curse this people for me since they are too mighty for me; perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land.  For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam and repeated Balak’s words to him.  8 He said to them, “Spend the night here, and I will bring word back to you as the Lord may speak to me.”  And the leaders of Moab stayed with Balaam.  9 Then God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?”  10 Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent word to me, 11 ‘Behold, there is a people who came out of Egypt and they cover the surface of the land;  now come, curse them for me;  perhaps I may be able to fight against them and drive them out.’”  12 God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them;  you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”  13 So Balaam arose in the morning and said to Balak’s leaders, “Go back to your land, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.”  14 The leaders of Moab arose and went to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”  Numbers 22:1-14.

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“10 The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.”  Psalm 33:10-12.

The LORD nullified the counsel of Moab who tried to get Balaam to curse Israel.

But, the LORD also nullified the counsel of Israel who lived by works (not by faith) and who also rejected His Son Jesus Christ.

“Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved;  for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly.”  And just as Isaiah foretold,

“Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a posterity,
We would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.”

What shall we say then?  That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;  but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.  Why?  Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.  They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written,

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”  Romans 9:27-33.

“But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;  nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but:  “through Isaac your descendants will be named.”  That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.  For this is the word of promise:  “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.”  And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;  for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.”  Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

What shall we say then?  There is no injustice with God, is there?  May it never be!  For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.”  So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”  Romans 9:6-18.

“The counsel of the LORD stands forever.”  The LORD chooses whom He will bless.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God;  you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  1 Peter 2:9.

And, the LORD chooses to bless those in His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”  Colossians 1:19-20.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”  Ephesians 1:3-6.

“… in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”  Galatians 3:16.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.  In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.  In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:7-12.

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