Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 13, 2014

“Behold, a people who dwells apart, And will not be reckoned among the nations.”

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers 22:36 to Numbers 23:12.  Today’s Scripture spans parts of two chapters.  Here are two link to the two chapters – and 

I quote the following verses from Numbers Chapter 23. 

“5 Then the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and you shall speak thus.”  6 So he returned to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, he and all the leaders of Moab.  7 He took up his discourse and said, 

“From Aram Balak has brought me,
Moab’s king from the mountains of the East,
‘Come curse Jacob for me,
And come, denounce Israel!’
8 “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?
And how can I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced?
9 “As I see him from the top of the rocks,
And I look at him from the hills;
Behold, a people who dwells apart,
And will not be reckoned among the nations.
10 “Who can count the dust of Jacob,
Or number the fourth part of Israel?
Let me die the death of the upright,
And let my end be like his!” 

11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me?  I took you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have actually blessed them!”  12 He replied, “Must I not be careful to speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?”  Numbers 23:5-12. 


We focus on the observation and blessing of Balaam:  “Behold, a people who dwells apart, And will not be reckoned among the nations.”  

We see similar Scripture in the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:8-10. 

“8 “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
When He separated the sons of man,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the sons of Israel.
9 “For the Lord’s portion is His people;
Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.
10 “He found him in a desert land,
And in the howling waste of a wilderness;
He encircled him, He cared for him,
He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.”  Deuteronomy 32:8-10. 

These Scriptures and other Scriptures focus on the uniqueness and preciousness of God’s chosen people.  God singles and separates out His chosen people to be the sole recipients of His grace.  There is no common grace here nor support for the thought that “God loves everybody.”  

Like a husband only loves his wife, “… Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing;  but that she would be holy and blameless.”  Ephesians 5:25-27.  

“1 But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
3 “For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your place.
4 “Since you are precious in My sight,
Since you are honored and I love you,
I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.”  Isaiah 43:1-4. 

“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 2:9-10. 

“What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?  And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.”  Romans 9:22-24.  

“Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy;  and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.”  Leviticus 20:26 

“But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself;  The Lord hears when I call to Him.”  Psalm 4:3.

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