“The word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.”
As we begin a new year at LCA, it is valuable for all of us to set some goals for the coming year. We have all heard the old saying, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time,” often attributed to Zig Ziglar. Our staff and students have been challenged to set a goal relating to our speech in the coming year, that our message will be God’s Word in My Mouth.
The verse above comes from the story of Balaam, set at the time of Moses in the Old Testament. Numbers 22-24 recounts what happened with many twists and turns. While Balaam certainly failed in many ways (and we will examine some of those in a future newsletter), he did succeed in guarding his message. Balaam only gave the message that God directed him to share.
One of the lessons we can take away from Balaam’s life is that we must take great care to say exactly and exclusively what God has determined without saying anything less or more, no matter what the words, wishes, and wealth of men may be.
We certainly must be careful how we handle the Word of God. In our Christian culture today, too many people have become too sloppy in how they read and interpret the Bible. While we certainly believe that the Bible must be our only rule of faith and practice, sometimes we want to add our own experience or judgments. When we read God’s word in context with its genre and audience in mind and compare Scripture with Scripture, we can be confident in God’s message to us and those around us.
We must also be prepared to handle all of Scripture. We are not given the license to choose which passages we want to accept and which passages we do not want to share with others. Balaam had to deliver the entire message God gave him and could not change that simply because it was too difficult or might cost him dearly.
While Balaam clearly failed in his heart motivation and his goals, we can be thankful that he did faithfully give God’s message to those around him. Let’s make it our goal in the coming year to be good messengers and ambassadors for our Lord.