“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.”
Balaam is an enigma. While he is clearly a false prophet who does great harm to the people of God, he is also responsible for some of the greatest Old Testament sermonettes. Here, he is taking a second look at the camp of Israel, attempting to find a way for Balak, king of Moab, to overthrow Israel. Instead, he learns how God sees His people.
“He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen wickedness in Israel.”
If you or I were standing on Mount Pisgah, remembering the actions of Israel, we would not find it difficult to observe iniquity. We might call to memory their constant complaining about food and water, their continual doubts and fears, which compelled them to long for Egypt, their obstinate disregard for the Word of God in the worship of a golden calf, or their unwillingness to enter the Promised Land. When God looks at His people, He looks through the lens of His covenant. Because of the Altar, Israel’s sins were pardoned, and God saw nothing but a forgiven people.
The same is true of the child of God. We are fully aware of our sins, and how guilt often keeps us from moving forward with the Lord. The devil is fully aware of our sins, and is quick to bring charges against us. But because of the cross, the Lord has chosen to use His omniscience to forget our sins. If you have trusted Christ, God does not observe iniquity, because it has been washed in the blood of the Lamb.