King Balak Summons Balaam (Numbers 22:1 – 20)

Scripture Text:

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Numbers 22:1 – 20

Questions:

1. What kind of mail do you open first? Last?

2. When you get phone, voice, text or video messages, are you eager to hear or see them? Or do you feel annoyed?

3. What is the funniest greeting you’ve heard when reaching someone else’s answering machine or voicemail?

4. Balak sends all the way to the Euphrates River basin for Balaam – twice (an 800-mile round trip each time). What does that tell you about Balak’s fear? About his difficulty in getting hold of Balaam? About Balaam’s popular acclaim in this culture?

5. Does Balaam strike you as a “captive agent” (loyal only to God)? Or an “independent agent” (brokering for any god)? Explain.

6. What is your initial reaction to conflict: Like Balak? Like Balaam? Or what?

7. Judging from your prayer life, are you doing God’s bidding? Or is He doing your bidding? What does that say about your relationship with God?

8. What steps will you take to make sure that you maintain a proper, deferential relationship with God?

Additional Comments: Balaam was professional magician who had an impressive reputation. But whose side was he on? Seven books of the Bible refer to this mysterious personality. As you study through Numbers  chapters 22 – 24, take note that the importance given to his story implies that it stood as a key event in the Israelites’ relationship to the surrounding pagan cultures. How did God use Balaam?

Moses’ Journal of Israel’s Journey (Numbers 33:1 – 49)

Scripture Text:

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Numbers 33:1 – 49

Questions:

1. What trip in your life took you the farthest from home in terms of miles traveled or time away?

2. What unforgettable event on this trip was captured for all time in your photo collection or journal?

3. In your travels around the country, how many states or provinces have you been to?

4. What impression does the journal in today’s text give you of the twists and turns in Israel’s journey?

5. How might a list like this help those who had not actually experienced the early parts of the journey? How might it affect their belief in the reality of God’s power?

6. What parallels do you see in the “Exodus” and the “Wilderness” experiences of the Israelites as compared with the pilgrimage of many who come to faith in Christ today?

7. Of what importance is ancient Israel’s story to your own faith? How does their documented journey enhance your faith in the power of God?

Additional Comments: While the exact location of many of the 56 geographical names recorded in this chapter is known, many are not. Keep in mind many of the places mentioned were only stations at which they encamped.

The Defeat of King Sihon and King Og (Numbers 21:21 – 35)

Scripture Text:

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Numbers 21:21 – 35

Questions:

1. Would you  ever engage in wrestling or fisticuffs to settle a dispute? When was the last time? Did the fight resolve anything or teach you any lessons? (What?)

2. If not the fighting type, how do you channel your aggression? What non-combative way have you found for settling your differences?

3. What do “war songs” say about God’s desire for His people? For their enemies?

4. When confronted by opponents, are you more likely to “fight” or “flee”? Why? What does that say about you?

5. Is it always right to fight? To retreat? How can you know the right response to a particular situation?

6. How can Israel’s encounter with Sihon and Og help you to sort out a proper response in your life?