Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 17, 2014

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, … and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

Today’s Scripture comes from Numbers 25:10-25. 

“10 Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam, and he struck his hands together;  and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have persisted in blessing them these three times!  11 Therefore, flee to your place now.  I said I would honor you greatly, but behold, the Lord has held you back from honor.”  12 Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you had sent to me, saying, 13 ‘Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything contrary to the command of the Lord, either good or bad, of my own accord.  What the Lord speaks, that I will speak’?  14 And now, behold, I am going to my people; come, and I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the days to come.” 

15 He took up his discourse and said, 

“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
16 The oracle of him who hears the words of God,
And knows the knowledge of the Most High,
Who sees the vision of the Almighty,
Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered.
17 “I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near;
A star shall come forth from Jacob,
A scepter shall rise from Israel,
And shall crush through the forehead of Moab,
And tear down all the sons of Sheth.
18 “Edom shall be a possession,
Seir, its enemies, also will be a possession,
While Israel performs valiantly.
19 “One from Jacob shall have dominion,
And will destroy the remnant from the city.”

20 And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said, 

“Amalek was the first of the nations,
But his end shall be destruction.”

21 And he looked at the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said, 

“Your dwelling place is enduring,
And your nest is set in the cliff.
22 “Nevertheless Kain will be consumed;
How long will Asshur keep you captive?”

23 Then he took up his discourse and said, 

“Alas, who can live except God has ordained it?
24 “But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim,
And they shall afflict Asshur and will afflict Eber;
So they also will come to destruction.”

25 Then Balaam arose and departed and returned to his place, and Balak also went his way.”  Numbers 25:10-25. 

————————– 

“Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;  for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24. 

Although we don’t want to be like Balaam, we do want to be one who “who hears the words of God, And knows the knowledge of the Most High, Who sees the vision of the Almighty”.  Verse 16.  

But, we should not think of this ability as some mystical gift that one receives it altogether at once.  Although there is nothing that we have, that we did not receive, (1 Corinthians 4:7), and although there are spiritual gifts such as knowledge and faith, (1 Corinthians 12:8-9), there usually is a progression in going from ignorance to hearing, and going from hearing to knowing, and going from knowing to seeing.  There is growth.  

“but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”  2 Peter 3:8. 

There is the example of Timothy.  “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.  For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:5-7. 

And, we see the example of Christ.  “The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom;  and the grace of God was upon Him.”  Luke 2:40. 

“I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds.”  Psalm 77:12.

So, let us be diligent.  

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15. 

“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.  Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you;  for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;  for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”  2 Peter 1:5-11. 

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:12-14. 

But, even though there is the need to grow, to be diligent, to press on, let us not view it as some dreary duty, let us be eager to do these things.   

Let us be like the Bereans.  “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”  Acts 17:11. 

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.”  Psalm 1:2.

“But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”  Romans 8:25. 

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;”  Philippians 3:20.  

In conclusion, the growth, diligence, pressing on, and eagerness is summarized in the following two parables of Jesus:  “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again;  and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  Matthew 13:44-46. 

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