Numbers 23, Psalm 64-65, Isaiah 13, 1 Peter 1
 

Psalm 65:4-8
"Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts!"  As I read that sentence this morning, I thought of God's blessing on Israel through Balaam.  Balak hired Balaam in the hope and expectation he would curse Israel, but instead, Balaam asks how could I curse those whom God has blessed.  He describes their state of blessing as one he desires, "Let my life end like theirs." 
 
"O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas."  Balaam's second blessing like Psalm 65:5 is an incredible description of God.  Balaam says, unlike man, God does not lie or change His mind.  If He says, He will do something you can be sure He will.  Isn't that a good summary of David's description of God in Psalm 65:5-8.  He is the righteous, strong and sovereign One whose actions cause the people to be in awe. 
 
"Who stills the roaring sea, and the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples..."  Doesn't that remind you of Mark 4:39 when Jesus said "Peace! Be still!" and the windstorm stopped and the rough waves calmed.  The disciples were in such awe they asked, "Who is this man?  Even the winds and waves obey him!"  A good guess would be the God described in Psalm 65:5-7. 
 
It is interesting that in the same way God stilled the roaring seas and waves, he stills the tumult of the peoples.  Isaiah 13:4 using the same Hebrew word, describes the uproar of the crowd He gathers to destroy Babylon.  The same God who stills the people also stirs the people to carry out His judgment of Babylon. 
 
Isaiah 13 describes the Almighty administering His wrath to Babylon by nations He commanded and summoned.  Isaiah describes them as the weapons of His indignation whose purpose is to destroy the whole country.  He presents those destroyed as sinners, evil, wicked, arrogant, and ruthless.  When He is finished those people left will be few.  Babylon will be like Sodom and Gomorrah.  The same LORD God Almighty accomplished both the quieting and the rousing of these people. 
 
"Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts!"  Isn't that exactly what 1 Peter 1:1-5 says?  Peter addresses this letter to "those who are elect...according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ."  What an appropriate description of those chosen and brought near to dwell in the courts of the Living God. 
 
I am always looking for descriptions of the church and 1 Peter 1:4-5 is one of my favorites, "You, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for salvation."  These are those chosen ones who have an inheritance waiting for them in heaven that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. 
 
The same God who blessed the Israelites calmed the storms, gathered the nations against Babylon, and chose those He would cause to be born again to a living hope.  How blessed we are!  How thankful we should be in our obedience to Jesus Christ. 
 
O God of our salvation, You are the hope of all the ends of the earth.  You alone are Sovereign.  You fulfill everything You have spoken.  As an unworthy recipient of Your grace and mercy, I praise Your name and exalt in Your majesty.  You alone are King of kings and Lord of lords. 

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