Epiphany 4, Monday, Year B

Inspired by Numbers 22:1-21

“Once again Balak sent officials, more numerous and more distinguished than these. They came to Balaam and said to him,‘Thus says Balak son of Zippor: “Do not let anything hinder you from coming to me; for I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do; come, curse this people for me.”’ But Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, ‘Although Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the LORD my God, to do less or more.’” Numbers 22:15-18 (NRSV)

The pressures to conform to this world are great. We are tempted with riches, status, security, or renown, all if we abandon the commands of the Lord for the values of this world.

But what can the world offer us that’s better than the blessings of the Lord? Riches can only buy so much, and nothing of great importance; status is precarious. There’s no such thing as true security, and renown is fleeting. The rewards of this world may seem abundant, but the demands of this world are relentless, and we will never be able to achieve all that the world requires in order to earn what the world claims to offer.

The blessings of the Lord are substantial, dependable, and eternal. He alone will never fail or forsake us. He alone will never demand more than we can give. God has lovingly created each and every one of us, and we will never lose our status in his eyes. He has given us all that we need to live fully and abundantly. As much as the world may tempt or threaten us, its rewards are limited, temporary and worthless, and cannot match the abundance of God’s love and grace.

Let us pray. God of abundance, you have provided us with all that we need. Grant us the wisdom to see through the world’s temptations, that we may remain steadfast in your will and your ways. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.