Summary: THE CHURCH'S JUSTIFICATION
THE CHURCH'S JUSTIFICATION Numbers 23:1-24: Introduction Israel's wilderness wanderings. They had come to the borders of the land of Canaan and were camped on the east side of the Jordan River on the edge of the land of Moab ready to cross the Jordan and enter the promised land. Balak, King of Moab, was afraid and hired the wicked prophet Balaam to curse them in God's Name. I. The Fact of Their Justification. v. 21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. What is justification? Our text shows us that justification is not something God does to us, but something He says about us. It is God's sentence as Judge concerning us. V. 19 "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" That great and righteous God - that God of truth - declares us innocent of any wrong-doing at all! Even Balaam was amazed when He says in verse 23: "According to this time it shall be said of Jacob and Israel, What hath God wrought!" (a) Despite Their Past Israel's Constant Rebellion (b) Despite Their Prophecy Balaam was hired to Curse them. 13 And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence. (c) Despite Their Population different positions of Cursing for mixed multitudes Num 11 v 4 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? II. The Foundation of Their Justification. 21 the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. In Christ God justifies His people. Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Balaam speaks of Christ's gracious and glorious presence in the words v 21: "The Lord His God is with Him, and the shout of a king is among them." The first part of that verse is a reference to Christ as the Immanuel, God with us. In the O.T. He was that Immanuel through the tabernacle, the cloud of glory, the priesthood, the sacrifices and through all the types and shadows. The second part of the verse also refers to Christ. "the shout of a king is among them." He hears Christ shouting as King going out to do battle against His enemies. III. The Fruit of Their Justification. 23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought! 24 Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain. (a) Their Protection 23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: Despite Balaam's Curses. Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God‘s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (b) Their Promise 24 Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain. That is a reference to the church's victory over her enemies and to the fact that she obtains through Christ the King a full recompense for all that she endures at the hands and mouths of her enemies. Balaam is foretelling his own and Balak's destruction at Israel's hands and the destruction of all the enemies of the church. (c) Their Prosperity ch. 24:5-6. How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! 6 As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters. Romans 5 v 1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (d) Their Praise 23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought! (e) Their Peace 10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his! IV. The Future of Their Justification. 10 Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his! I. The Prayer Itself Was A Very Good Prayer A. It was a Realistic prayer. It acknowledged the reality of death. (Psalm 90:10).The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. B. It was a Rational prayer. Many fail to see the difference between the death of a righteous man and a sinner. Any person would want to die the death of the righteous Revelation 14:13; And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. C. It was a Reasonable prayer it expressed the most important concern a person can have. John 8:21.Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Mark 8:36-37. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?