Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 14, 2014

“He is for them like the horns of the wild ox.”

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers 23:13-24. 

“13 Then Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place from where you may see them, although you will only see the extreme end of them and will not see all of them;  and curse them for me from there.”  14 So he took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.  15 And he said to Balak, “Stand here beside your burnt offering while I myself meet the Lord over there.”  16 Then the Lord met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.”  17 He came to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the leaders of Moab with him.  And Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?”  18 Then he took up his discourse and said, 

“Arise, O Balak, and hear;
Give ear to me, O son of Zippor!
19 “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?
20 “Behold, I have received a command to bless;
When He has blessed, then I cannot revoke it.
21 “He has not observed misfortune in Jacob;
Nor has He seen trouble in Israel;
The Lord his God is with him,
And the shout of a king is among them.
22 “God brings them out of Egypt,
He is for them like the horns of the wild ox.
23 “For there is no omen against Jacob,
Nor is there any divination against Israel;
At the proper time it shall be said to Jacob
And to Israel, what God has done!
24 “Behold, a people rises like a lioness,
And as a lion it lifts itself;
It will not lie down until it devours the prey,
And drinks the blood of the slain.”  Numbers 23:13-24. 


Reformed Doctrine “pounds the table” to proclaim God’s sovereignty, because the Bible  “pounds the table” to proclaim God’s sovereignty.  “Has He said, and will He not do it?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

When we understand more of God’s sovereignty, we will also trust God more:  “He is for them like the horns of the wild ox.”  

The imagery of “horns of the wild ox” conveys God’s focus, force, passion, and persistence.  God focuses on His chosen people as we seen in the devotion yesterday.  God’s force (sovereignty) insures that what God intends to do will be accomplished.  God’s passion is shown in Christ Who loves the church and gave Himself up for the church as a husband loves and is devoted to his wife.  God’s persistence is shown by His faithfulness and preservation of the saints despite their repeated unfaithfulness, rebellion, and other sins.    

God is for them! 

“God brings him out of Egypt,
He is for him like the horns of the wild ox.
He will devour the nations who are his adversaries,
And will crush their bones in pieces,
And shatter them with his arrows.”  Numbers 24:8. 

“6 The Lord is for me;  I will not fear;
What can man do to me?
The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in princes.”  Psalm 118:6-9. 

“31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?  32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?  33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;  34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.  35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36 Just as it is written, 

“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 

37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:31-39.


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