We Need Not Fear {DWITW 365}


As we continue through the overarching story of the Bible with DWITW 365, this week in the book of Numbers, finds Israel camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan. While Israel is encamped, we become acquainted with Balak, the king of Moab. Balak knew what had just befallen the Amorites at the hands of the Israelites and their God. He knew of the bloodshed, the destruction. Now, the Israelites were close to him. Too close. He was afraid. He needed a solution and he remembered the prophet Balaam.

Balaam had a reputation for being a man whose words of blessing or cursing held power. What he said, happened. And Balak needed something to happen. So he sent money and princes to entice Balaam to come and curse this multitude of people camped in the plains of Moab. Twice Balak sent princes to Balaam. Twice Balak dared hope an easy victory was well within his grasp. After the second request, Balaam returned with the princes to Moab and informed Balak that he could only speak the words that God would give him.

When morning came, Balak set his plan in motion, but things didn't go as Balak had anticipated. Three times, he took Balaam to a place that overlooked the Israelite camp. Three times, Balaam instructed Balak to build seven altars and sacrifice seven bulls and seven rams. And three times, Balaam spoke an oracle of blessing over the people of Israel, much to the frustration and anger of king Balak.

There is no peace to be found in my own accomplishments, strengths, or even in the shadow of another’s failure.

As I read through the plight of this king, I couldn’t help but wonder, what is it that I run to when I am afraid? What is it that I seek out when I fear that I am failing as a wife, or as a mother? What do I turn to when I feel like I’m insufficient and incapable? Do I turn to the opinions of others? Or play the comparison game? Or, is self-deprecation my go-to?

In his fear, Balak summoned Baalam to curse the Israelites - this was his attempt to gain control of the situation. If he could decide the outcome, life could resume as normal. But to his disappointment, his peace did not lie within his grasp. And, nor does mine. There is no peace to be found in my own accomplishments, strengths, or even in the shadow of another’s failure.

Peace, true peace, lies in the hands of our Maker, our Creator God, who promised Abraham that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through Him. Our joy is to know the fruition of that blessing in Christ. I need not entertain the thoughts of comparison that only seek to rob me of the joy I can savor in seeing others blessed.

How many times have I sought out my own affirmation at the cost of missing the opportunity to encourage a friend? What petty suppositions of mine have grown into downright cold-hearted competition? Are you, like me, at times disheartened by others success, how God has blessed another?

Dear sisters, we are far stronger together than we are alone. Let us use our words to remind each other of our great God, His great love for us, and the holy lives we are called to live. Lives that reflect Him and His nature to the world around us. And this is not something we have to do in our own power. No, we have the Spirit. That Holy Spirit living in us which so gently guides, comforts, and corrects.

We also have the Word. His Word that stands as a mirror to our lives and our hearts. We have His Word that shows us our own ugliness and shortcomings, while also pointing us to the unsurpassing beauty and completeness of Jesus. And from the depths of that knowledge may we speak of Christ to one another. May we speak of love and hope and grace. May we set our minds and hearts on things above; things that are true and honorable and just and pure and lovely and praiseworthy - things that remind us of Jesus and help us remember the God of peace that is so near (Philippians 4:8-9). Because of Him, we need not fear.

”If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
— Colossians 3:1-4

Robin Zastrow wants to live in a world where coffee never gets cold and kindness abounds. When she's not discovering the wonders of construction paper and cardboard tubes with her two little ones, you can find her sneaking in another few pages of a book or jotting down bits of writing on scraps of paper.

One of her favorite Scriptures is:
“ Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22 ESV