(This devotion originally appeared on More Than Yourself 4-25-2015.)
Point-of-view. A lesson straight from literature class. To teach our students this concept, we ask them to imagine a familiar story being told from a different character’s perspective. It’s fun for them to imagine how the events and story line will change based on who's telling the story.
Sometimes I expect God to change His point-of-view in my life, too.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve caught myself bargaining with God, expecting Him to change His mind based on my convincing testimony.
“God, if you look at it this way, I’m sure you will see that this is the best decision for me right now.”
“But God, if this doesn’t happen, what am I going to do?”
Thankfully, we're not alone in this struggle to convince God to change His mind. In Numbers 23, Balak, the king of the Moabites, was afraid of the Israelites. To take care of the threat, he employed the services of Balaam, the sorcerer. Balak wanted Balaam to curse Israel.
After Balaam spoke his first message of blessing over Israel instead of a curse, Balak thought if Balaam saw the Israelites from a different vantage point, God’s message would change.
“Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.” Numbers 23:13 NIV
It didn’t change a thing. Balaam responded with another blessing over Israel.
“I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.” Num. 23:20
Then if that wasn’t enough, Balak took him to yet another location!
“Then Balak said to Balaam, ‘Come, let me take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them for me from there.’” Num. 23:27 NIV
But true to his word, God never changes.
“How beautiful are your tents, Jacob, your dwelling places, Israel!” Num. 24:5
Now before we condemn Balak, let’s remember how often we do the same thing. We present our requests to the One who cares most for us and knows what’s best. But how do we respond when the answer in no? Or worse, when the answer is silence?
Let’s learn from Balak’s misjudgment today.
I may be able to teach my students about the many different points-of-view in literature, but God only has one point-of-view. His is solid, steadfast, and right.
God sees everything, and His perspective never changes.