Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City. What is this shout of a king? I remember when I first read this, they didn't have a king. So who's the king? And what is he shouting?
Think it through. I started to fast forward through scripture in my mindset. The only king I know of that shouted was one who went to a cross one day. There's a king inside of my heart that shouts the victory. Welcome to A Call to the Nation with Carter Conlon. In the book of Numbers chapter 22, we read the story about the prophet Balaam and his donkey who talked to him.
But there is much more to this story. Balaam was traveling with King Moab's officials and was persuaded to curse God's chosen people who have come from Egypt. But instead of a deserved cursing, the Spirit of God comes upon Balaam who gives the people a blessing instead, all because he heard the shout of a king.
Let's join Carter now with the king who shouts in your heart. John the beloved apostle says these words in 1 John chapter 3 verses 19 and 20. By this we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
In other words, God is greater than the condemnation in our hearts and he knows something which we may have lost sight of. I've wondered about that verse for years. We quoted, we throw it out so freely like confetti at a wedding almost.
The bride and groom come out and we just throw it up in the air and we don't even worry about cleaning it up. We let somebody else do that. And we don't even worry sometimes if we quote verses and don't fully understand. So what does it mean if my heart condemns me that God is greater than my heart? I've always been one that wants an explanation for scriptures and things.
I want to understand this. What does it mean that God is greater than my heart? Now in order to understand this, I want to go into an Old Testament story in the book of Numbers chapter 22 is where we start. It's right near the beginning of your Bible, way back at the beginning. And in Numbers chapter 22, a foreign king hired a man who had a reputation for influence in the spiritual realm. And he hired him to curse the people of God as they were beginning their journey into his realm. So this is a foreign king and he sees the people of God coming and panic. The scripture tells us, and Moab was exceedingly afraid, chapter 22 of Numbers verse three, of the people because there were many and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel. He was afraid. Now the children of Israel, I don't think saw themselves as that much of a threat to this kingdom of darkness at this time.
You know, it's funny, sometimes our enemies have a better assessment of us than we have of ourselves. The devil's afraid of you. He's afraid of you because you have the spirit of God within you.
You've come to Christ for your cleansing and God's Holy Spirit is upon you. And he remembers, he was there on the day of Pentecost. He knows what 120 failures can do to his kingdom. And this king is a type in a sense of the devil himself.
He's afraid of these people coming around the mountain into his territory. And so he hires a spiritist is what Balaam was. He was a false prophet really.
I don't want to get into all the details for what should have been an easy task because these people really were a spiritual mass. And from time to time in the body of Christ, we do get ourselves into trouble spiritually. We fall short of the glory of God in very many measures in our life.
We start believing things that we shouldn't about God and we start believing things about ourselves that are not really true. These people, and no doubt, if they had heard him condemn them, they would have agreed with him. In other words, there's a lot of people in the body of Christ that you would readily agree with the condemner. If he showed up in your dorm room here in the college or your bedroom at home or wherever it is and the devil sent an emissary to condemn you, you'd probably agree with him. Yeah, you're right.
You're right. I'm all those things. Yes, that's what I am.
That's what I am. It should have been such an easy task to condemn these people. Now the king of Moab knew this guy had spiritual authority. It was an evil authority, basically, but he knew he had the authority to curse people. And he said, I want you to come and I want you to curse the people of God.
It should be an easy task to do so. These people are coming around into my territory and I want to make sure that we stop them. Now here is their history up to this point. Now these people have come out of Egypt.
They've come out of captivity. They've got this incredible promise that was given to Abraham, of course, years before that they were going to be blessed. And through them, the whole world was going to be blessed.
You know, that's your promise tonight. That's what God promises for you. That through your life and through mine, everyone around you is going to be blessed.
There's going to be a church and God's going to do something in us and through us that is so far beyond us that only he could get the glory for it. They knew this. And after 400 years of captivity, they're brought out of captivity. They saw the power of God. They saw the plagues that came upon their captors. They saw the sea part and let them through into the beginning of this journey into the promised place that God had had for them. And you think they'd be singing the songs of Zion all the way to the promised land.
You know, if we were among that crew, we would think, wow, having seen all of that, I mean, I would be singing and shouting and dancing and I would be clapping and trusting. And, but that's not the case. That's not what happened with them. Numbers 11 one, they began to complain. They weren't even, they weren't even just a short time out of 400 years of slavery. And they began to complain and fire burnt some in the outskirts of the camp.
Numbers 11 verses four to 10. They complained and wept over the provision of God and they longed for the food of their former captivity. Isn't that amazing? They started remembering the leeks and the garlics and they forgot about the whip marks on their backs and going out before sunrise to find straw to make bricks and for men's egos. And they suddenly just remembered the food, how good it was back there.
We remember the leeks and the garlics and we're all like that. Free food. Really, it was free.
I mean, realistically, it was God sent down manna. It was a wafer. It tasted like honey and they gathered it every day.
And after a little while, they just said, is this all there is? I mean, it was so good back. I remember mama's cooking. It was so good.
And this is so cafeteria. It's just not what we're used to. And here we are in the blessing of God and we can easily forget the blessing of God and start longing for that. You forgot though that you were drug addicted when you're at mama's house. You forgot all the things that used to be back there and suicidal and depressed and you didn't know where you were in Christ.
And now it's just all about the food. In numbers 11, 26 to 28, there were some people began to exercise spiritual gifts, even though they were in rebellion to the appointed authority that God had placed over them. In verses 33 and 34, a plague came. They buried people who had yielded to these inner cravings that they desired more than the things of God. In numbers chapter 12, verse one, those closest to Moses began to speak against him, Miriam and Aaron.
Can you imagine the pain that must have been in his heart? His own sister and his brother, the ones that he had brought along with him on this incredible journey, bringing people into freedom, began to speak against him and his leadership and his choices he was making in life. In chapter 13, they sent 12 spies into the promised land.
Finally, we've arrived at the borders of where God is leading us in this world. And 10 of them came back and they brought an evil report about a report I suppose they considered to be reasonable and measured, but it was called by God an evil report. It took away the heart of the people. They said the people are too big, their forces are too strong and we're not big enough, we're not enough, we can't go in, we can't take this place of promise. The scripture says the people wept all night in chapter 14 and they opted to appoint leaders to take them back into Egypt.
Can you imagine? The people of God have come this far and now they're looking for leaders to take them back into a place where they were in slavery. It's in that chapter that they were banished to die in the wilderness.
They went in, presumably were defeated, and then they were banished to spend the rest of their days in a very, very dry place. In chapter 16, 250 men of renown rebel against the leadership of Moses and Aaron and they say, we hear from God too, not just you, and we are anointed to lead the people, not just the two of you. And they all died before the tabernacle of God. Chapter 16, verse 41, all the congregation complained again. Chapter 20, verses 3 to 5, there's more complaining going on in the camp of Israel. Chapter 20, in verse 12, Moses had had enough of the complaining of the people. He struck the rock and he's told by God, you're not going in to the place of promise on this earth.
You're not going to fulfill the fullness of what your life should have been and the victories you should have earned and won on this planet, you're not going to know. Now Moses went to heaven, obviously, but he didn't finish his course that God prescribed for him on the on the earth. In chapter 21, verses 5 and 6, it gets worse. The people now begin to speak against Moses and God.
It's the first time actually in their journey they actually began to speak against God openly. Blame him, accuse him, who knows what else got into the vocabulary. And so realistically for Balaam, who was hired by this foreign king, Balak, it should have been an easy job to go up to a vantage point as it was and just curse these people who have obviously incredible failures. Obviously they hadn't learned anything. All they do is complain all the time. Their leader is a failure. The people are failures. They've not only, I didn't even touch all that they'd done.
They also made a calf and did other things like that. I'm just following the first few chapters before we get to this particular vantage point. So here they come. They're coming around into this place called Moab. They're on this journey that God told them was going to end in a blessing to the whole of the known world. We know that blessing is going to come through Christ and ultimately through the church and through you, through you and through me.
That's the blessing that was promised. They're coming around the mountain and they've got a failed leader. They've got murmuring people.
They've got rebellious people among, but they're still moving. They've made a lot of mistakes along the way. Anybody here never made a mistake in your journey with Christ? Will you come to the altar at the end? I'd like to touch perfection before I leave this sanctuary. You've never made a mistake in your journey with God.
And so it should be an easy thing, except for one thing. Now Balak offers Balaam. He says, if you'll do this, if you'll curse the people of God, he says, I'll give you honor. And he says, I'll give you money and I'll give you access to power, to secular power. That's all that these earthen kings and powers of darkness can ever, he's a prophet for hire basically.
If you'll make the people feel more guilty than they do, if you will weaken them with your voice, if you will remind them of their sin constantly, if you will condemn them, then you will have money and honor and I'll give you access to secular power. And so he was planning on going, but God interrupts his journey. And in chapter 22, verse 20, it says, God came to Balaam at night and said to him, if men come to you, rise and go with them, but only the word which I speak to you that shall you do. In other words, you don't speak anything other than what I tell you to say. So God overrides the spiritists. That's what really happens is now you're going to, you're going to go and you're going to stand. You're going to see the people of God, but you only say what I tell you to say. So he arrives in the area of Moab and the king Balak takes him up to the top of a mountain and it's called a desolate height.
It's called an empty place. It's a type of the people's present condition. They're looking at this entire course of failed people coming around the mountain and Balak says now curse them from here, curse them, curse their journey.
It should be a no brainer. These people are all failures. They've not done what they're supposed to do and they've not been grateful for the deliverance of God.
Then they've murmured and complained against leadership and they've complained about the food and they've all this stuff and their leader is not going into the fullness of what was prescribed for him. And so he's in this desolate height and suddenly the spirit of God comes upon him. And Balak, he says, how shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced? From the top of the rocks I see him and from the hills I behold him.
There are people dwelling alone, not reckoning itself among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob or number one fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous and let my end be like his. So here's this man who's been hired to curse the people of God.
They're coming around. There are just a whole pack of failures really coming around the corner of this mountain and the spirit of God overrides this man. He starts speaking what God is speaking and God through him says, how shall I curse whom God has not cursed? How shall I denounce those that God has not denounced?
From the top of the rocks I see him and from the hills I behold him. A people dwelling alone and not reckoning itself upon with the nations. In other words, God's saying through this man, when the nations of the world are judged, these people will not be among them. These people are set apart for the purposes of God and it's not by their perfection. It's not by their might.
It's not even by their integrity. It's by the mercy and the power of God that that which is promised to them is going to be fulfilled. I have not cursed them.
I have blessed them. Remember that the Lord said to the apostle Peter, what I have cleansed you have no right to call common or unclean anymore. If you have come to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, you have no right to call yourself unclean or common anymore.
You have no right. God is not pointing his finger in your face. God is not taking into account the areas where you have failed, the struggles in your mind, the struggles in your journey.
He looks at you and he said, I can only bless you. I've not cursed you. I've forgiven you. I have not taken into account the numerous failings that have been in every one of your lives. Oh, folks, listen to me. The Psalmist says, if God counted iniquities, who among us would stand?
Who among us would stand? We must look like a pile of zombies in the sight of heaven. And we think we're so righteous because we put on nice clothes and we carry a big Bible and we go to church, but it doesn't make you righteous. We're made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ. We're made righteous by the cross of Jesus Christ.
We are forgiven not because of anything we have done, not because of our works of righteousness, but according to his mercy, he has saved us. And who can count the dust of Jacob? In other words, there's a plan going through this people and these people are going to increase and he finishes by saying, let me die the death of the righteous and let my end be like his. I see something coming for every one of these people who have placed their trust in God. Every one of these people who are still on the journey. Every time the line has been drawn in the sand, these are the people who have crossed the line and even in their failure, they've said, I'm still going to go with God.
I'm not going back to where I came from. I'm going with God. And Balak said to Balaam, what have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies and look, you blessed them bountifully. And so he answered and said, must I not take heed to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth? Then Balak said to him, please come with me to another place from which you may see them. You shall see only the outer part of them and you won't see them all and curse me them from there. So in other words, he said, if you won't curse their present condition, then let's curse them for their past failures. He always starts by looking in the midst of them.
Now he goes behind them. And that's a type of the enemy saying, well, if I can't get you today, I'm going to get you because of what you did yesterday. I'm going to remind you of every lie you ever told, every person you were ever unkind to, every failure in your home and in your family, every time you were a coward when you should have stood up and been brave and all these other things.
I'm going to remind you of your past. So he goes again and he brought him to the top of another mountain. And it says, the Lord met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, go back to Balaam and this is what you're going to speak.
Verse 19, chapter 23 of Numbers. God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man that he should repent. Has he said, and he will not do it? Or has he spoken?
Will he not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless. He has blessed and I cannot reverse it. He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor has he seen wickedness in Israel. First time I read that, I said, how does that work?
Could that be true? I just described these people to you. I just described this whole pack of failures coming around the mountain. And the spirit of God comes on this man and God speaks through him and says, I've not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor seen wickedness in Israel. I'm looking at these people, God's saying, and I don't see iniquity. I don't see sin.
It's amazing. It could only be mercy. How else could you describe this? He says, the Lord is God is with him and the shout of a king is among them. God brings them out of Egypt.
He has the strength like a wild ox. Now, what is this shout of a king? Well, I remember when I first read this, they didn't have a king. So who's the king and what is he shouting?
Think it through. I started to fast forward through scripture and my mind said, the only king I know of that shouted that shouted was one who went to a cross one day. And as he was drawing his last breath, it says he shouted with a loud voice.
It is finished. Hallelujah. The power of sin is broken.
The penalty of sin is broken. The people that have turned to me have been redeemed. I've called them by my name. I'll never forget them. I'll never forsake them.
They are mine. And when they go through the fire, I will be with them and they won't be burned. And when they go through the flood, I'll be with them and the water won't drown them. I will love them with an everlasting love.
I will never leave them and I will never forsake them. And I will give them power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy. He goes on and he says, God brings him out of Egypt and he has the strength like a wild ox.
For there is no sorcery against Jacob nor any divination against Israel. It must now be said of Jacob and of Israel, oh, look what God has done. Hallelujah. You look in the mirror tonight when you go home, I want you to do this and say, oh, look what God has done. Look what God has redeemed. Look at what God has shown mercy to. Look what God calls his own. Look what God loves with all of his heart. Look what God says is the very center of his affection in the apple of his eye.
Look at what God has done in my life and for my life. Look, he says in verse 24, a people rises like a lioness and lifts itself up like a lion. It shall not lie down until it devours the prey and drinks the blood of the slain. It says not only are they a people covered, not only are they are they a people that cannot be cursed, they are a people that will soon rise up with the strength of a lion and will do what God has prescribed them to do on the earth. And they will not back away. They will not be afraid until they have won the victory that Christ gave them on the cross. And they will drink the blood of the slain.
In other words, there's nothing that can stand in the way of these people. There's nothing that can stop the blessing of God from going through us into all this earth. No matter what we feel about ourselves, no matter how deeply we feel like we've failed God, there's nothing that can stop this blessing of God from going through our lives and fulfilling his promise through us. Then Balak said to Balaam, verse 27, O please, you can hear him now pleading, is the devil pleading O please? If I take you to one more place, can you curse him now from there? I'll take you to the top of Peor that overlooks the wasteland. In other words, he's saying, their future looks so bleak and the land is so empty and void and dark.
And what makes these people think that they can actually make a difference in this place, this wasteland that lies before them? Now Balaam goes again and he says, this is the utterance of Balaam, the son of Beor, the utterance of the man whose eyes are opened, the utterance of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down with his eyes wide open. As Balaam says, I'm just overwhelmed, like it's flat on my back. It's hard to believe what I'm seeing, what the Spirit of God is showing me. How lovely are your tents O Jacob, your dwellings O Israel, like valleys that stretch out, like gardens by the riverside, like aloes planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. He shall pour water from his buckets and his seed shall be in many places, many waters. His king shall be higher than Agag, his kingdom shall be exalted. God brings him out of Egypt, he has the strength like a wild ox. He shall consume the nations, his enemies, he shall break their bones and pierce them with his sorrows. He bows down, he lies down as a lion and as a lion who shall rouse him up.
Blessed is he who blesses you and cursed is he who curses you. It's amazing when you look at it and you begin to realize that they can and we will make a difference in our generation. As they did, so will we do. As God was faithful to them, even in all their failure, through their lineage was still born the Christ. Through their lineage of Christ, the cross was still the victory over all the powers of hell and darkness and evil. And through the cross of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of Christ by the power of God, the church of Jesus Christ was born into the earth of which you and I are.
And the prophecy that was given through Balaam for that which God had planted in the earth is that we're going to be planted in many places. The kingdom of God shall be exalted through those that are called by the name of Christ and ultimately you cannot curse what God has blessed. That's what it means, that if my heart condemns me, God is greater than my heart. If my heart condemns me, there's a king inside of my heart that yells, I love you, you are victorious, you are more than a conqueror through Christ. All the things that I've promised you in your life are going to be fulfilled through your life. You will go into these desolate places and you will make a difference. You will be like water upon the earth, you'll be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.
The fruit that I promised you is going to be born. It's not by your might, it's not by your power, it's by my spirit, says the Lord. It's not by works of righteousness that you have done, it's because of my mercy that you will be everything that I've called you to be. If my heart condemns me, God is greater than my heart. There's a king inside of my heart that shouts the victory. I look, Balaam said, at these people.
I don't see iniquity. I hear the shout of a king. It's time now for you and I to stand up against the voice of the Condemner.
It's time that we just say, Satan, get behind me, get behind me. Fall down on your face with your eyes wide open because I'm not listening to your voice anymore. I've got another voice I'm listening to. I hear the shout of a king.
I hear the shout of a king. Oh God almighty, God almighty, would you give us the grace to understand these words? Would you give us the grace to lay hold of this incredible mercy, this incredible truth that what you have cleansed, nobody has the right to call unclean anymore? Not even us. We can't even call ourselves unclean.
We've lost the right. God, would you help us just to keep walking, to keep going forward, to keep believing your promises, to keep heading towards that place, Lord. God, we see in the story that a heathen king was trembling.
He saw something in the people of God they didn't see in themselves anymore. God almighty, that would recognize our strength comes from you and from you alone. Father, we thank you. God, we praise you. We bless you for it. In Jesus' name. Amen and amen. With Carter Conlon.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-02 06:19:44 / 2023-04-02 06:30:47 / 11