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Numbers Chapter 23   (ESV)

18 And Balaam took up his discourse and said,

“Rise, Balak, and hear;

give ear to me, O son of Zippor:

19 God is not man, that he should lie,

or a son of man, that he should change his mind.

Has he said, and will he not do it?

Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

20 Behold, I received a command to bless:

he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.

21 He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob,

nor has he seen trouble in Israel.

The Lord their God is with them,

and the shout of a king is among them.

22 God brings them out of Egypt

and is for them like the horns of the wild ox.

23 For there is no enchantment against Jacob,

no divination against Israel;

now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,

‘What has God wrought!’

24 Behold, a people! As a lioness it rises up

and as a lion it lifts itself;

it does not lie down until it has devoured the prey

and drunk the blood of the slain.”

25 And Balak said to Balaam, “Do not curse them at all, and do not bless them at all.” 26 But Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘All that the Lord says, that I must do’?”



  • Read aloud this passage. It’s better to read the whole chapter about the almost hilariously embarrassed and puzzled Balak and Balaam.
  • As this story illustrates, our words have the potential for great good and great evil. Think a moment about the words that come out of my mouth.  Are they words that bless others or curse them?  Are they words that build up another person or tear that person down?  Do they give life or take away life?



Dear Holy Spirit,

Knowing that the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart,

Please help me to watch over my heart with all diligence.

Keep watch over me so that no unwholesome words slip past the gate and hurt another person.

Keep watch so that my humor doesn’t go in the direction of ridicule.

Keep watch so that no words are spoken in anger.

I realize that it’s a small step from throwing words at people to throwing stones at them.

Help me to give a blessing instead of a curse.

Especially, I pray for ____________ whom I have a hard time loving…..