Now go to your home! I said I would reward you richly, but look, the LORD has denied you a reward. – Numbers 24:11
Is dishonor ever a good thing?
If Balaam agreed to curse the Israelites, then Balak (king of the Moabites) promised to reward him richly. He would literally “cover Balaam with honor.” Yet, when Balaam initially refused (later on he would change his mind), Balak withdrew his promise of a reward. An interesting comment in this whole story belongs to Balak (the pagan king) in that he acknowledged it was the God of Israel who had denied Balaam his reward.
Balak’s point is well-made. It is always better to be honored by God and dishonored by the world than to be honored by the world and yet dishonored by God. Yes, it IS a blessing from God for Him to deny your receipt of worldly honors. A servant of Christ may never know earthly rewards. He or she may live a life of total obscurity, unknown in this world, but God knows all things, and loyalty to His purposes will never go unrewarded. In this sense, the Lord may deny one reward that we may receive another.
Be faithful. God may refuse you the honor of men, but if he does, it is for your own good and His own glory.
As a reward for their efforts, … [the] early Christians were beaten, stoned to death, thrown to the lions, tortured and crucified. Every conceivable method was used to stop them from talking. – Josh McDowell
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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