“I said I would greatly honor you, but in fact, the Lord has kept you back from honor.”
– Numbers 24:11
Balak, a pagan king, had thought he knew about honor. What is more concerning is that he thought he knew about the Lord’s greatness. His concept of God’s favor was from a worldly point of view. It included positions and possessions that would probably result in popularity. These are the things the king of Moab used to entice the son of Beor to curse the Israelites. When Balaam did not perform as expected, Moab’s king incorrectly proclaimed that God would hold back honor from Balaam. His concept of Jehovah’s plans and character were off; therefore, his theology was wrong.
Moab’s king failed to realize that at this point, Balaam had already received God’s favor. The Bible tells us that “the Spirit of God came upon him.” He was now a man whose eyes were opened, who heard the words of God and had the knowledge of the Highest. He fell down before the Lord with “eyes wide open.” Although he did not receive what Balak had promised, the Lord did not keep back His favor from Balaam, for these are the real gifts of honor from God.
The doctrine of favor is very often misunderstood. It is taught incorrectly, providing a view of Jesus as merely One who is around for our bidding. In many arena’s, Jesus has become nothing more than a genie who stands ready to grant your every wish. Given that perspective, it is no wonder those who have become rich and famous are seen as the leaders of society. It would appear that they are those who have received the Lord’s favor and honor.
Jesus told His disciples, including us today, that we should rejoice in one thing…that our names are written in Heaven! When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, we already have God’s favor! Using this angle as a foundation, theology will be correctly developed, and understanding of His character will be rightly approached. Anything else given to us as disciples here on earth after that reward is merely icing on the cake!
“If your riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.”
– Psalm 62:10