By Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu :
God told Balaam , the prophet “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed ” (Numbers 22: 12 ) . Today, I am going to preach a sermon that I want everybody , whoever you are and wherever you are , to listen to very carefully because whatever profession, whatever situation you find yourself, I want you to know today that God is able to bless you more abundantly than even you can ever conceive . This is the first lesson I want you to meditate on today. God is very good and goodness is so much God’s nature that he blesses mankind, and I also want you to know today that when God has blessed his children nobody on this earth can take back the blessings. I want to use for my sermon today Numbers 22 and 23.
This sermon is very important because we live today in an age when men have become more wicked, more malicious, more envious, more covetous and more vindictive than anybody ever imagined before, though if you are a christian very conversant with the Word of God this is not a surprise to you because Jesus Christ , while preaching about the Last days predicted it. Timothy also predicts it graphically when he says : “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” ( 2 Timothy 3:13 ) . Many of people have become very unforgiving, very vindictive and vey evil. The first thing that has happened to many of us is our ungratefulness and lack of appreciation of good people. When you are among some Sierra Leoneans, you only need to be a good and humble man for you to suffer hurts . We take advantage of only the good people whom we consider soft targets because we know they will not cuss us out or harm us with words or deeds. We fear and respect only people who will fight us fire for fire, cuss us out and humiliate us.
Look at all the good things that President Ernest Bai Koroma is doing for our nation. How much appreciation is he receiving from those who ought to know better ? He is the most productive President we have ever had since Independence .He met the country in pitch darkness . Everyday and night, the whole city and country were in darkness. However, as soon as President Koroma came to power he changed the situation by restoring electricity .He went one step further by accomplishing what six leaders before him — Dr. Siaka Stevens, General Joseph Momoh, Capt . Valentine Strasser, self-promoted “Brigadier” Maada Bio, the late Lt. Col. Johnny Paul Koroma and Dr. Ahmad Kabbah –could not accomplish : FINISH THE BUMBUNA HYDRO-ELECTRICITY PROJECT. In addition to that, the President decided to turn Sierra Leone into a modern nation by reconstructing everything that had deteriorated in the nation through past misgovernance , neglect and the war– Water supply, roads, bridges, buildings and key government installations , the educational system , the broadcasting system, the agricultural system , the health cre system etc. If we are God-fearing , we will acknowledge that never before in the history of our nation have so many good tings happened to us in such glorious succession as obtains during the reign of President Koroma. Yet, there are Sierra Leoneans who talk in songs, newspapers, radios , online media and forums like the President is doing absolutely nothing for Sierra Leone. How can we be so ungrateful ? Is our ungratefulness one of the reasons that God allowed us to lose our old glory ?
Because the people of Israel complained and murmured against God ‘s servant Moses and God himself while God was taking them out of bondage in Egypt , a journey that could have lasted only a week took them 40 years ! ! ! ! God detests too much murmuring and complaining , especially while he is making efforts to improve our circumstances. Liberians and other countries have the same problems we have or worse but their newspapers and online forums are not full of vile complaints , personal attacks on their governments and Presidents and negativity as we have. Even Americans are suffering today. The British too are suffering. The global economic downturn has affected even the industrialized countries , yet their Presidents and government functionaries do not suffer the kinds of unjust attacks as our own suffer. Don’t ask how I managed to know because I buy and read the Daily Mail, Daily Express , Guardian and The Times (England ) and the New York Times, Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer everyday. I also read Liberian newspapers online everyday. I am also a member of the Concerned Liberians Discussion Forum.
Because he was full of indignation , malice, envy and fear of Israel after the children of God started waxing strong after crossing the Jordan and defeating two kings on the side of the Jordan: Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, Balak, king of Moab sends elders of Midian and his messengers to Balaam, son of Beor, to inspire him to come and curse Israel. Balaam had a good reputation. Those he cursed failed. Those he praised prospered. God, we know, had chosen the people of Israel and his blessings and protection were on them. God loves Israel. You can accept it or choke on it , but it is settled. Though they were stubborn and disobeyed God many times, they were still covered by the blessings of a merciful God. Balaam, as a prophet, should have known that what Balak had called him to perform was unthinkable, gross, sinful and a rebellion against God. How can a prophet of God try to take back the blessings God has poured on his children and Israel , of all nations , for that matter ? He knew it was not the will of God. And God told him : “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed ” (Numbers 22: 12 ) . But Balam insisted and even overlooked the divine sign of his own donkey resisting to move at one time and also miraculously speaking to him in protest when in his impatience he started beating the animal. This is the dilemma of life today. We have people professing to be true christians or ardent muslims but are more vindictive , more scheming and more evil than the unbelievers and their feet are swifter to go to perform evil . At times, you find your best friends among unbelievers. Pray to fall victim instead to the anger of the unbeliever than the professing christian or muslim because some unbelievers are more forgiving. We have many modern day Balaams today .They do not need to be prophets. They can be administrators; they can be journalists; they can be within churches or political parties . They are Balaams all the same because the same wickedness , the same covetousness, the same arrogance and the same rebellion against God is implanted in their hearts. Whenever you try to surreptitiously undo God’s blessings on his children you are Balaam personified and you are actually fighting God, not man.
Balaam went to curse the people of Israel, the people that God has blessed. And the Angel of the Lord stood before him to prevent him ( Numbers 22: 22). Ballam at first did not see the angel. Only his donkey did . Whenever we set out to damage other people, God sends angels to prevent us but because of our hardheartness we do not sense that . God hates our’ bad heart’ , vindictiveness and evil plots against people. God made an animal notice his angel but man made in his likeness , he denied him that priviledge. God would have been dealing mightily with us but our wicked hearts separate him from us. Balaam punished the donkey for refusing to move and the beast spoke to him in protest. He should have taken all these signs to conclude that God did not want him to go curse the people of Israel. God is very jealous for his children. But Balaam himself was permitted to see the angel who threatened that had it not been for the donkey he would have slain him there and then.
Anyway , to cut a long story short , Balaam went to curse Israel.But look at what is going to happen. It happened that when he opened his mouth to curse the children of God, only blessings came out of his mouth. One commentator wrote : “According to a negative view of Balaam in the Talmud, Balaam possessed the gift of being able to ascertain the exact moment during which God is wroth — a gift bestowed upon no other creature. Balaam’s intention was to curse the Israelites at this moment of wrath, and thus cause God himself to destroy them; but God purposely restrained His anger in order to baffle the wicked prophet and to save the nation from extermination”.
Balak, astonished that Balaam had blessed Israel instead, cried out : “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and look, you have blessed them bountifully!” And Balaam answered him : “Must I not take heed to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth?” There is a lesson here. Balaam’s pronouncement of blessings on Israel , instead of curses, was divinely inspired. God it was who miraculously made Balaam to pronounce blessings when he opened his mouth to curse Israel. Those that have ears, let them hear. You do not have any power to reverse God’s blessings for his people. If you insist, you only end up pouring more blessings on and solidifying the child of God.
This is what Balaam ended up telling Balak : “Rise up, Balak, and hear! Listen to me, son of Zippor! God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it. He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a King is among them. God brings them out of Egypt; He has strength like a wild ox. For there is no sorcery against Jacob, nor any divination against Israel. It now must be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘Oh, what God has done!’ Look, a people rises like a lioness, and lifts itself up like a lion; it shall not lie down until it devours the prey, and drinks the blood of the slain.” Yes, when God blesses, nobody can reverse it. Balaam failed to pronounce curses on God’s children because they are blessed and those God has blessed nobody can unbless.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR LISTENING TO THE WORDS OF THIS SERMON. LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER, FORGIVE PEOPLE THEIR TRSPASSES AND LET LOVE AND UNITY PREVAIL ALWAYS AMONG US. LET US STOP ALL OUR WICKED SCHEMINGS THAT WILL ONLY COME TO NOUGHT AND SOLDIFY THOSE WE WANT TO BRING DOWN. MAY GOD BLESS US ALL , GIVE US GOOD HEALTH AND EVERY GOOD THING WE DESIRE FOR OURSELVES, ACCORDING TO HIS WILL.
NEXT SUNDAY’S SERMON : GOD, THE HEALER