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From Eternity Past

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    Balak Tries Again

    Balak decided that the imposing spectacle presented by the vast encampment of the Hebrews had so intimidated Balaam that he dared not practice his divinations against them. The king determined to take the prophet to some point where only a small part of the host might be seen. Again seven altars were erected, whereon were placed the same offerings as at the first. The king and his princes remained by the sacrifices, while Balaam retired to meet with God. Again the prophet was entrusted with a divine message, which he was powerless to alter or withhold.EP 316.1

    When he appeared, the question was put to him, “What hath the Lord spoken?” The answer struck terror to the heart of king and princes:EP 316.2

    God is not a man, that He should lie, ...
    Behold, I have received commandment to bless:
    And He hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
    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.
    EP 316.3

    The great magician had tried his power of enchantment, but while Israel was under the divine protection, no people or nation, aided by all the power of Satan, should be able to prevail against them. All the world should wonder at the marvelous work of God—that a man should be so controlled by divine power as to utter, instead of imprecations, rich and precious promises in sublime poetry. When Satan should inspire evil men to misrepresent and destroy God's people, this occurrence would strengthen their courage and faith in God.EP 316.4

    The king of Moab, disheartened and distressed, exclaimed, “Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.” Yet he determined to make another trial. He now conducted Balaam to Mount Peor, where was a temple devoted to the licentious worship of Baal. Here the same number of sacrifices were offered. But Balaam made no pretense of sorcery. He looked abroad upon the tents of Israel, and the divine message came from his lips:EP 317.1

    How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob,
    And thy tabernacles, O Israel!
    As the valleys are they spread forth,
    as gardens by the river's side... .
    And his King shall be higher than Agag,
    and his kingdom shall be exalted... .
    Blessed is he that blesseth thee,
    and cursed is he that curseth thee.
    Balaam prophesied that Israel's king would be greater than Agag. This was the name given to the kings of the Amalekites, who were at this time a very powerful nation. But Israel, if true to God, would subdue all her enemies. The King of Israel was the Son of God; and His throne was one day to be established in the earth, and His power to be exalted above all earthly kingdoms.
    EP 317.2

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