Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

No better example of this scripture can be found than in the story of the little maiden named Mary. Though she was young and from a lowly town in Galilee called Nazareth, Mary believed God. Because of her belief, all generations have called her blessed.

The examples from the Bible are many of those whom God exalted. As a nation, Israel was blessed and exalted. When Balak tried to curse God's people, God told him, "You are not to curse these people, for I have blessed them!" (Numbers 22:12). Yet another example of the exalting of the Lord is found in the life of David, who was taken from the field while tending a few sheep and exalted to be king of Israel. Joseph, who was languishing in an Egyptian prison, also witnessed the blessing of the Lord that brought him to Pharaoh's right hand in exaltation.

We must value the blessing of the Lord upon our lives because it exalts us before the heathen and brings great glory to God. May the blessing bestowed upon a simple virgin of Nazareth remind us of one eternal truth: God's "mighty arm does tremendous things! How he scatters the proud and haughty ones! He has taken princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly" (Luke 1:51-52).

Be blessed . . . then exalted!

Numbers 21:1-22:20

Arad Destroyed

21 When the Canaanite king of Arad,Nu 33:40; Jos 12:14 who lived in the Negev,S Ge 12:9; Nu 13:17; Dt 1:7; Jdg 1:9, 16 heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them.Then Israel made this vowLev 7:16 to the Lord: “If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroyThe Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 3.ver 3; Ex 22:20; Dt 2:34; Jos 2:10; 8:26; Jer 25:9; 50:21 their cities.”The Lord listened to Israel’s plea and gave the CanaanitesS Ge 10:18 over to them. They completely destroyed themS ver 2 and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.Hormah means destruction.S Nu 14:45

The Bronze Snake

They traveled from Mount HorNu 20:22 along the route to the Red Sea,Or the Sea of ReedsNu 14:25; Dt 2:1; 11:4 to go around Edom.S Nu 20:21 But the people grew impatient on the way;Dt 2:8; Jdg 11:18they spoke against GodPs 78:19 and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of EgyptNu 11:20 to die in the wilderness?S Ex 14:11; Nu 14:2, 3 There is no bread! There is no water!Nu 20:5 And we detest this miserable food!”S Nu 11:5

Then the Lord sent venomous snakesver 7; Dt 8:15; 32:33; Job 20:14; Ps 58:4; 140:3; Jer 8:17 among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.1Co 10:9The people came to MosesPs 78:34; Hos 5:15 and said, “We sinnedNu 14:40 when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the LordEx 8:8; 1Sa 7:8; Jer 27:18; 37:3; Ac 8:24 will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayedS Nu 11:2 for the people.

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole;Jn 3:14 anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”So Moses made a bronze snake2Ki 18:4 and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.Jn 3:14-15

The Journey to Moab

10 The Israelites moved on and camped at Oboth.Nu 33:4311 Then they set out from Oboth and camped in Iye Abarim, in the wilderness that faces MoabS Ge 36:35; Nu 33:44; Dt 34:8; Jer 40:11 toward the sunrise.12 From there they moved on and camped in the Zered Valley.Dt 2:13, 1413 They set out from there and camped alongside the ArnonNu 22:36; Dt 2:24; Jos 12:1; Jdg 11:13, 18; 2Ki 10:33; Isa 16:2; Jer 48:20, which is in the wilderness extending into Amorite territory. The Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.S Ge 10:1614 That is why the Book of the Wars1Sa 17:47; 18:17; 25:28 of the Lord says:

“. . . ZahabSeptuagint; Hebrew Waheb in Suphah and the ravines,

the Arnon15 andOr “I have been given from Suphah and the ravines / of the Arnon 15 to the slopes of the ravines

that lead to the settlement of Arver 28; Dt 2:9, 18; Isa 15:1

and lie along the border of Moab.”

16 From there they continued on to Beer,Nu 25:1; 33:49; Jdg 9:21; Isa 15:8 the well where the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people together and I will give them water.”

17 Then Israel sang this song:S Ex 15:1

“Spring up, O well!

Sing about it,

18 about the well that the princes dug,

that the nobles of the people sank—

the nobles with scepters and staffs.”

Then they went from the wilderness to Mattanah,19 from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth,20 and from Bamoth to the valley in Moab where the top of PisgahNu 23:14; Dt 3:17, 27; 34:1; Jos 12:3; 13:20 overlooks the wasteland.

Defeat of Sihon and Og

21 Israel sent messengersS Ge 32:3 to say to SihonNu 32:33; Dt 1:4; Jos 2:10; 12:2, 4; 13:10; Jdg 11:19-21; 1Ki 4:19; Ne 9:22; Ps 135:11; 136:19; Jer 48:45 king of the Amorites:S Ex 23:23

22 “Let us pass through your country. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the King’s Highway until we have passed through your territory.S Nu 20:17

23 But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory.Nu 20:21 He mustered his entire army and marched out into the wilderness against Israel. When he reached Jahaz,Dt 2:32; Jos 13:18; 21:36; Jdg 11:20; Isa 15:4; Jer 48:21, 34 he fought with Israel.Nu 20:1824 Israel, however, put him to the swordDt 2:33; 3:3; 29:7; Ps 135:10-11; Am 2:9 and took over his landver 35; Dt 3:4 from the Arnon to the Jabbok,S Ge 32:22; Nu 32:33; Jdg 11:13, 22 but only as far as the Ammonites,S Ge 19:38; Dt 2:37; Jos 13:10 because their border was fortified.25 Israel captured all the cities of the AmoritesNu 13:29; Jdg 10:11; Am 2:10 and occupied them,Jdg 11:26 including Heshbonver 30; Nu 32:3; Dt 1:4; 29:7; Jos 9:10; 12:2; Isa 15:4; 16:8; Jer 48:2, 34 and all its surrounding settlements.26 Heshbon was the city of Sihonver 21; Dt 29:7; Ps 135:11 king of the Amorites,Nu 13:29 who had fought against the former king of Moabver 11 and had taken from him all his land as far as the Arnon.ver 13

27 That is why the poets say:

“Come to Heshbon and let it be rebuilt;

let Sihon’s city be restored.

28 “Fire went out from Heshbon,

a blaze from the city of Sihon.Jer 48:45

It consumedS Nu 11:1 ArS ver 15 of Moab,

the citizens of Arnon’s heights.Nu 22:41; Dt 12:2; Jos 13:17; Isa 15:2; Jer 19:5

29 Woe to you, Moab!Nu 24:17; 2Sa 8:2; 1Ch 18:2; Ps 60:8; Isa 25:10; Jer 48:46

You are destroyed, people of Chemosh!Jdg 10:6; 11:24; Ru 1:15; 1Ki 11:7, 33; 2Ki 23:13; Jer 48:7, 46

He has given up his sons as fugitivesIsa 15:5

and his daughters as captivesIsa 16:2

to Sihon king of the Amorites.

30 “But we have overthrown them;

Heshbon’s dominion has been destroyed all the way to Dibon.Nu 32:3; Jos 13:9, 17; Ne 11:25; Isa 15:2; Jer 48:18, 22

We have demolished them as far as Nophah,

which extends to Medeba.Jos 13:16; 1Ch 19:7

31 So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.Nu 13:29

32 After Moses had sent spiesJos 2:1; 6:22; 7:2; Jdg 18:2; 2Sa 10:3; 1Ch 19:3 to Jazer,Nu 32:1, 3, 35; Jos 13:25; 2Sa 24:5; 1Ch 6:81; Isa 16:8; Jer 48:32 the Israelites captured its surrounding settlements and drove out the Amorites who were there.33 Then they turned and went up along the road toward BashanNu 32:33; Dt 3:3; 31:4; Jos 2:10; 12:4; 13:30; 1Ki 4:19; Ne 9:22; Ps 135:11; 136:20,Dt 3:4; 32:14; Jos 9:10; 1Ki 4:13 and Og king of Bashan and his whole army marched out to meet them in battle at Edrei.Dt 1:4; 3:1, 10; Jos 12:4; 13:12, 31; 19:37

34 The Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.Dt 3:2

35 So they struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army, leaving them no survivors.Jos 9:10 And they took possession of his land.S ver 24

Balak Summons Balaam

22 Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of MoabS Nu 21:11 and camped along the JordanS Nu 13:29; S Jos 2:7 across from Jericho.Nu 31:12; 33:48; Dt 32:49; Jos 2:1

Now Balak son of ZipporNu 23:1-3; Jos 24:9; Jdg 11:25; Mic 6:5; Rev 2:14 saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites,and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dreadS Ex 15:15 because of the Israelites.

The MoabitesS Ge 19:37 said to the elders of Midian,S Ge 25:2 “This horde is going to lick up everythingNu 32:17, 18, 29 around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.Job 5:25; Ps 72:16

So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time,sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor,ver 7; Nu 24:25; 31:8, 16; Dt 23:4; Jos 13:22; Ne 13:2; Mic 6:5; S 2Pe 2:15 who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River,S Ge 2:14 in his native land. Balak said:

“A people has come out of Egypt;S Ex 13:3 they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me.Now come and put a cursever 12, 17; Nu 23:7, 11, 13; 24:9, 10 on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land.ver 11 For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.”

The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination.S Ge 30:27 When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.

“Spend the night here,” Balaam said to them, “and I will report back to you with the answer the Lord gives me.ver 19” So the Moabite officials stayed with him.

God came to BalaamS Ge 20:3 and asked,ver 20; Nu 23:5; 24:4, 16 “Who are these men with you?”

10 Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message:11 ‘A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.’”

12 But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.S Ge 12:2

13 The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak’s officials, “Go back to your own country, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.”

14 So the Moabite officials returned to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”

15 Then Balak sent other officials, more numerous and more distinguished than the first.16 They came to Balaam and said:

“This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me,17 because I will reward you handsomelyver 37; Nu 24:11 and do whatever you say. Come and put a curseS ver 6 on these people for me.”

18 But Balaam answered them, “Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God.ver 38; Nu 23:12, 26; 24:13; 1Ki 22:14; 2Ch 18:13; Jer 42:419 Now spend the night here so that I can find out what else the Lord will tell me.ver 8

20 That night God came to BalaamS Ge 20:3 and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.”ver 35, 38; Nu 23:5, 12, 16, 26; 24:13; 2Ch 18:13

Victory over the Canaanites

21 The Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that the Israelites were approaching on the road through Atharim. So he attacked the Israelites and took some of them as prisoners.Then the people of Israel made this vow to the Lord: “If you will hand these people over to us, we will completely destroyThe Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; also in 21:3. all their towns.”The Lord heard the Israelites’ request and gave them victory over the Canaanites. The Israelites completely destroyed them and their towns, and the place has been called HormahHormah means “destruction.” ever since.

The Bronze Snake

Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red SeaHebrew sea of reeds. to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey,and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”

So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died.Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!”So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!

Israel’s Journey to Moab

10 The Israelites traveled next to Oboth and camped there.11 Then they went on to Iye-abarim, in the wilderness on the eastern border of Moab.12 From there they traveled to the valley of Zered Brook and set up camp.13 Then they moved out and camped on the far side of the Arnon River, in the wilderness adjacent to the territory of the Amorites. The Arnon is the boundary line between the Moabites and the Amorites.14 For this reason The Book of the Wars of the Lord speaks of “the town of Waheb in the area of Suphah, and the ravines of the Arnon River,15 and the ravines that extend as far as the settlement of Ar on the border of Moab.”

16 From there the Israelites traveled to Beer,Beer means “well.” which is the well where the Lord said to Moses, “Assemble the people, and I will give them water.”17 There the Israelites sang this song:

“Spring up, O well!

Yes, sing its praises!

18 Sing of this well,

which princes dug,

which great leaders hollowed out

with their scepters and staffs.”

Then the Israelites left the wilderness and proceeded on through Mattanah,19 Nahaliel, and Bamoth.20 After that they went to the valley in Moab where Pisgah Peak overlooks the wasteland.Or overlooks Jeshimon.

Victory over Sihon and Og

21 The Israelites sent ambassadors to King Sihon of the Amorites with this message:

22 “Let us travel through your land. We will be careful not to go through your fields and vineyards. We won’t even drink water from your wells. We will stay on the king’s road until we have passed through your territory.”

23 But King Sihon refused to let them cross his territory. Instead, he mobilized his entire army and attacked Israel in the wilderness, engaging them in battle at Jahaz.24 But the Israelites slaughtered them with their swords and occupied their land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River. They went only as far as the Ammonite border because the boundary of the Ammonites was fortified.Or because the terrain of the Ammonite frontier was rugged; Hebrew reads because the boundary of the Ammonites was strong.

25 So Israel captured all the towns of the Amorites and settled in them, including the city of Heshbon and its surrounding villages.26 Heshbon had been the capital of King Sihon of the Amorites. He had defeated a former Moabite king and seized all his land as far as the Arnon River.27 Therefore, the ancient poets wrote this about him:

“Come to Heshbon and let it be rebuilt!

Let the city of Sihon be restored.

28 A fire flamed forth from Heshbon,

a blaze from the city of Sihon.

It burned the city of Ar in Moab;

it destroyed the rulers of the Arnon heights.

29 What sorrow awaits you, O people of Moab!

You are finished, O worshipers of Chemosh!

Chemosh has left his sons as refugees,

his daughters as captives of Sihon, the Amorite king.

30 We have utterly destroyed them,

from Heshbon to Dibon.

We have completely wiped them out

as far away as Nophah and Medeba.Or until fire spread to Medeba. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

31 So the people of Israel occupied the territory of the Amorites.32 After Moses sent men to explore the Jazer area, they captured all the towns in the region and drove out the Amorites who lived there.33 Then they turned and marched up the road to Bashan, but King Og of Bashan and all his people attacked them at Edrei.34 The Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you, along with all his people and his land. Do the same to him as you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon.”35 And Israel killed King Og, his sons, and all his subjects; not a single survivor remained. Then Israel occupied their land.

Balak Sends for Balaam

22 Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho.Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king, had seen everything the Israelites did to the Amorites.And when the people of Moab saw how many Israelites there were, they were terrified.The king of Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This mob will devour everything in sight, like an ox devours grass in the field!”

So Balak, king of Moab,sent messengers to call Balaam son of Beor, who was living in his native land of PethorOr who was at Pethor in the land of the Amavites. near the Euphrates River.Hebrew the river. His message said:

“Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt. They cover the face of the earth and are threatening me.Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse.”

Balak’s messengers, who were elders of Moab and Midian, set out with money to pay Balaam to place a curse upon Israel.Hebrew set out with the money of divination in their hand. They went to Balaam and delivered Balak’s message to him.“Stay here overnight,” Balaam said. “In the morning I will tell you whatever the Lord directs me to say.” So the officials from Moab stayed there with Balaam.

That night God came to Balaam and asked him, “Who are these men visiting you?”

10 Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent me this message:11 ‘Look, a vast horde of people has arrived from Egypt, and they cover the face of the earth. Come and curse these people for me. Then perhaps I will be able to stand up to them and drive them from the land.’”

12 But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!”

13 The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak’s officials, “Go on home! The Lord will not let me go with you.”

14 So the Moabite officials returned to King Balak and reported, “Balaam refused to come with us.”15 Then Balak tried again. This time he sent a larger number of even more distinguished officials than those he had sent the first time.16 They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him:

“This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don’t let anything stop you from coming to help me.17 I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!”

18 But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God.19 But stay here one more night, and I will see if the Lord has anything else to say to me.”

20 That night God came to Balaam and told him, “Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do.”

21 And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners.

And Israel vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.

And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah.

And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

10 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in Oboth.

11 And they journeyed from Oboth, and pitched at Ijeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrising.

12 From thence they removed, and pitched in the valley of Zared.

13 From thence they removed, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, which is in the wilderness that cometh out of the coasts of the Amorites: for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.

14 Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon,

15 And at the stream of the brooks that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab.

16 And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.

17 Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:

18 The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves. And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah:

19 And from Mattanah to Nahaliel: and from Nahaliel to Bamoth:

20 And from Bamoth in the valley, that is in the country of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looketh toward Jeshimon.

21 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying,

22 Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink of the waters of the well: but we will go along by the king's high way, until we be past thy borders.

23 And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness: and he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel.

24 And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.

25 And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof.

26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon.

27 Wherefore they that speak in proverbs say, Come into Heshbon, let the city of Sihon be built and prepared:

28 For there is a fire gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon: it hath consumed ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon.

29 Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites.

30 We have shot at them; Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid them waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medeba.

31 Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites.

32 And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there.

33 And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and og the king of bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at edrei.

34 And the Lord said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.

35 So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land.

22 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.

And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.

And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.

And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.

He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me:

Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.

And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.

And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the Lord shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.

And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?

10 And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying,

11 Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.

12 And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.

13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the Lord refuseth to give me leave to go with you.

14 And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us.

15 And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.

16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me:

17 For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.

18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.

19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more.

20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.

Luke 1:26-56

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel GabrielS ver 19 to Nazareth,S Mt 2:23 a town in Galilee,27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph,Mt 1:16, 18, 20; Lk 2:4 a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid,ver 13; S Mt 14:27 Mary; you have found favor with God.Ge 6:831 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.Isa 7:14; Mt 1:21, 25; Lk 2:2132 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.ver 35, 76; S Mk 5:7 The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,S Mt 1:133 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdomMt 28:18 will never end.”2Sa 7:16; Ps 89:3, 4; Isa 9:7; Jer 33:17; Da 2:44; 7:14, 27; Mic 4:7; Heb 1:8

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you,Mt 1:18 and the power of the Most Highver 32, 76; S Mk 5:7 will overshadow you. So the holy oneS Mk 1:24 to be born will be calledOr So the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.S Mt 4:336 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a childver 24 in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.37 For no word from God will ever fail.”S Mt 19:26

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,ver 6540 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.S ver 1542 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women,Jdg 5:24 and blessed is the child you will bear!43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my LordS Jn 13:13 should come to me?44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Mary’s Song1:46-53pp — 1Sa 2:1-10

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the LordPs 34:2, 3

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,Ps 18:46; Isa 17:10; 61:10; Hab 3:18; 1Ti 1:1; 2:3; 4:10

48 for he has been mindful

of the humble state of his servant.ver 38; Ps 138:6

From now on all generations will call me blessed,Lk 11:27

49 for the Mighty One has done great thingsPs 71:19 for me—

holy is his name.Ps 111:9

50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,

from generation to generation.Ex 20:6; Ps 103:17

51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;Ps 98:1; Isa 40:10

he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.Ge 11:8; Ex 18:11; 2Sa 22:28; Jer 13:9; 49:16

52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones

but has lifted up the humble.S Mt 23:12

53 He has filled the hungry with good thingsPs 107:9

but has sent the rich away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel,

remembering to be mercifulPs 98:3

55 to Abraham and his descendantsS Gal 3:16 forever,

just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee,27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings,Or Rejoice. favored woman! The Lord is with you!Some manuscripts add Blessed are you among women.

29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.33 And he will reign over IsraelGreek over the house of Jacob. forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.37 For the word of God will never fail.Some manuscripts read For nothing is impossible with God.

38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town40 where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth.41 At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed.43 Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?44 When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.45 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise

46 Mary responded,

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.

47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!

48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,

and from now on all generations will call me blessed.

49 For the Mighty One is holy,

and he has done great things for me.

50 He shows mercy from generation to generation

to all who fear him.

51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!

He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.

52 He has brought down princes from their thrones

and exalted the humble.

53 He has filled the hungry with good things

and sent the rich away with empty hands.

54 He has helped his servant Israel

and remembered to be merciful.

55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,

to Abraham and his children forever.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Psalm 57:1-11

Psalm 57In Hebrew texts 57:1-11 is numbered 57:2-12.57:7-11pp — Ps 108:1-5

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam.Title: Probably a literary or musical term When he had fled from Saul into the cave.1Sa 22:1; 24:3; Ps 142 Title

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,

for in you I take refuge.Ps 2:12; 9:9; 34:22

I will take refuge in the shadow of your wingsS Ru 2:12; S Mt 23:37

until the disaster has passed.Isa 26:20

I cry out to God Most High,

to God, who vindicates me.Ps 138:8

He sends from heaven and saves me,Ps 18:9, 16; 69:14; 142:6; 144:5, 7

rebuking those who hotly pursue me—The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 6.Ps 56:1

God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.Ps 25:10; 40:11; 115:1

I am in the midst of lions;S Ps 35:17

I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—

men whose teeth are spears and arrows,

whose tongues are sharp swords.S Ps 55:21; Pr 30:14

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;

let your glory be over all the earth.ver 11; Ps 108:5

They spread a net for my feetPs 10:9; 31:4; 140:5

I was bowed downS Ps 38:6; 145:14 in distress.

They dug a pitS Ps 9:15 in my path—

but they have fallen into it themselves.S Est 6:13; Ps 7:15; Pr 28:10; Ecc 10:8

My heart, O God, is steadfast,

my heart is steadfast;Ps 112:7

I will sing and make music.

Awake, my soul!

Awake, harp and lyre!Ps 33:2; 149:3; 150:3

I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;

I will sing of you among the peoples.

10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;

your faithfulness reaches to the skies.S Ps 36:5

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;S Ps 8:1; 113:4

let your glory be over all the earth.S ver 5

Psalm 57

For the choir director: A psalmHebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term. of David, regarding the time he fled from Saul and went into the cave. To be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!

I look to you for protection.

I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings

until the danger passes by.

I cry out to God Most High,Hebrew Elohim-Elyon.

to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.

He will send help from heaven to rescue me,

disgracing those who hound me. Interlude

My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

I am surrounded by fierce lions

who greedily devour human prey—

whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,

and whose tongues cut like swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!

May your glory shine over all the earth.

My enemies have set a trap for me.

I am weary from distress.

They have dug a deep pit in my path,

but they themselves have fallen into it. Interlude

My heart is confident in you, O God;

my heart is confident.

No wonder I can sing your praises!

Wake up, my heart!

Wake up, O lyre and harp!

I will wake the dawn with my song.

I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.

I will sing your praises among the nations.

10 For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.

Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.

May your glory shine over all the earth.

57 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.

They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

Proverbs 11:9-11

With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,

but through knowledge the righteous escape.Pr 12:6; Jer 45:5

10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;S 2Ki 11:20

when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.S Est 8:17

11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,Pr 14:34

but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.Pr 29:8

With their words, the godless destroy their friends,

but knowledge will rescue the righteous.

10 The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed;

they shout for joy when the wicked die.

11 Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper,

but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.

An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

10 When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

Mar 12 Mar 15
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