Wednesday, June 10, 2015

OT DAY 226 - How Often Does God Speak to You? (Please click here for English podcast)

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1.   Put on your “brakes” and stop for a moment of silence
2.   Wait for God. Breathe deep for God's peace. Exhale your worries.

Praise and Thanksgiving

1.   Think through your day, all the times that made you smile
2.   Thank God for all those moments, and for all those people
3.   Open your heart to praise the Lord

           We give thanks to you, O God;
                             we give thanks, for your name is near.
          We recount your wondrous deeds.
                             Psalm 75:1

Confession and Repentance

1.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in you:

     “Dear Holy Spirit, shine your light into the places of darkness in my life. Show me my sins, everything that blocks me from encountering God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

2.  Through the Holy Spirit, examine yourself for a short silence and then pray:

     "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and being victorious over death and sin. I confess my sin to you(pause, to tell Jesus what the Holy Spirit has shown you). Forgive my sins by your blood and help me follow you. Holy Spirit, fill me that I may be able to receive your gift to love God and His people. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."

The Word (Numbers 22:1-23:4)

English(ESV): 22&version=ESV

26 Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”
31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32 And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.” 34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord“I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” 35 And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.                 
                                  Numbers 22:26-35

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe"

My Listening
     This passage seems a very funny passage that a donkey can talk like that to its master. And, the intention to curse the Israelites turns out to become saying a blessing to the Israelites. Why? What's the point? What has this happening to do with us? 

Let's see how Professor John Goldingay tells us: 
( :
     Numbers 22-24 assumes that God can work through foreign prophets as well as through Israelites ones. The point is made vividly by having Balaam speak in God's name…
     The story's further implication is that Israel does not need to be afraid of the power of foreign prophets. Even if they have the power to curse, God can make sure Israel is not imperilled by that power…
     Here it's a reminder that Balaam is off on a venture designed to work the opposite way, which is why God is annoyed with Balaam. The sword is a potential threat to Balaam only if Balaam agrees to try to bring trouble on Israel. God doesn't just strike Balaam dead; God wants to get Balaam on the right side…
     If you find it hard to believe that a donkey can speak, you can take this as "just a story" and still get its point…
     God "opens her mouth." It is God who speaks, using the donkey's mouth. It's what I hope happens every time I climb the pulpit steps. More important than the question of whether a donkey speaks is the question of whether God speaks. If you find that impossible to believe, you have a bigger issue to handle. 

John Goldingay. Numbers & Deuteronomy for Everyone. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010, p.58-60.

      God can open anyone's mouth to speak to you. I was bitten by my own dog Kaka yesterday night when I forced him to go PP when he was scared about the sound of the train outside. I did not hit him at all but just to put my left hand on his back to move him along, and he bite me, ha, ha. So, did God speak to me through Kaka. Well, may be, because I got a lesson through this experience of not pushing people too hard when they don't want to. It happened just less than ten hours ago.
      So, the point is, whether you can hear God speaks to you so that God can change you to the right side, right? And, no one can curse you or hurt you if you are with God because we are under His protection, even you may not be able to see the angles around you!
      How often does God speak to you? If you don't hear God speak often, why? Is there a relational problem between you and God? 

Dear Lord Jesus, 
Help us to be able to hear you speak to us daily so that we can say what you want us to say and do what you want us to do.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Reflect on these questions:
1. Do you find this passage interesting? How so? How does this passage speak to you personally?  

2. Do you know that you are under God's personal protection? Are you afraid of any kind of personal attack from some people or any kind of sickness? Why do you need to be afraid of those? You don't feel secure in Jesus each day?

Praise and Thanksgiving
Let's give thanks for God with us. Let us praise Him:
10,000 Reasons

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