Does she reach back and nip Balaam like he should have been? But I want to highlight what I believe to be two types of false prophets: Balaam and Jezebel. He probably knew all about what was going on with Israel: it was one of those "international news stories" that made the rounds. In this way, the whole East Bank of the Jordan River became Israelite territory. The man is totally oblivious to what is going on. He rushes through life for everything that he can get out of it, never thinking about what will happen afterward, in the end. Another irony is what is said in verse 4 concerning a possible economic problem. If Balaam lived among today’s evangelicals, he would be considered a great man. At the very least, he was giving the princes his pitch. . The idea here is not that God does not see their sin—the Pentateuch is full of God's observations about their iniquities—but that their wickedness has not reached the point that He would be persuaded to curse them. Balaam was as good as dead already. God gave me permission! He could not see God if He had bit him! The underlying factor in all these situations is rebellion against and rejection of God. He became a “prophet for hire.” The book of Jude deals with false prophets/teachers and says that they “have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit” (Jude 1:11). Israel was nothing like we see on the movie The Ten Commandments (or some other Bible movie about the Exodus), where the depict the entire children of Israel as about 15 people with maybe four or five sheep. Revelation 2:14 credits him with "the doctrine of Balaam," which is inducing others to sin, specifically to idolatry and sexual immorality. He was very well read and knowledgeable in all the methods of cursing and blessing, as well as all the world's gods and goddesses. The error of Balaam is turning the gift of prophecy into a means of financial gain. . Jezebel was a woman who came into covenant relationship with the king of Israel, and then began to control things from that position of influence. 47 20
Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught. God continuously warns Balaam, "Do not go beyond what I tell you to do," and every time, Balaam tries to anyway. If you are familiar with my ministry, you probably know that I believe fully in the nine manifestation gifts of the Spirit that are listed in 1 Corinthians 12, one of which is the gift of prophecy. There are millions of people in the world like this. See what over 145,000 subscribers are already receiving each day. God came out against Balaam the same way that Satan comes out against us, when God allows him to do so. He was accustomed to doing things like this. Everything was based on what he could see, feel, hear, smell, and taste. The soothsayer reminds him that he warned him from the start that he "could not go beyond the word of the LORD, to do either good or bad of [his] own will; but what the LORD says, that [he] must speak" (Numbers 24:13). So God narrows him in or hedges him in. (I John 5:2-3), » This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. God says, "That's perverse. Remember, Balaam later advises the Midianites, "Get the Israelites involved in idolatry and sex with the women of Moab." The first half of verse 21 has had many wondering how it could be true, since the entire account of Israel in the wilderness is a sad commentary on how sinful Israel was! Others put it as, "There is no 'Thus saith the Lord' about this" - though there may be dozens of verses that say that one should not do it because of this, that, or something else. We are the donkey. The Devastator was afraid, acting like a sparrow! No body wants to hear” move from me you workers of iniquity I never knew you. The "seer" can see nothing because he is so stuck on the here and now, on what he has in his hand and in his pocket. Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. People then had the same human nature as people do now, and they wanted the best of both worlds. For, as the verse goes on to say, He is with Israel as their King! And his taking license came back to bite him severely in the end. His standard was "anything that is good for Balaam," which is self-righteousness and self-interest. He wants the gold, the honor, and the reputation he would have by cursing Israel (who had defeated mighty Egypt and most of the nations they came in contact with). In His Olivet Prophecy, Jesus says: "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. She turned away, but in doing so, Balaam's foot became crushed against the wall, causing him pain. What Peter had been telling his readers to do was submit - submit to government; submit to the king; to governors; to anyone in authority - for the Lord's sake, because that is what God wants us to do. Here was the great sovereign God saying, "Wake up, Balaam! They also worry little about resisting sin. A whole lot could be said on the subject of false prophets. Yet, here was Balaam, who had pretensions of being a good person but who was thoroughly evil, taking out his frustrations on the righteous, symbolized by this donkey—those who see God and try to do what He says. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on. (III John 11). He is the author of multiple books & lead pastor at Threshold Church. He was perfectly fine with continuing his trade as a sorcerer and even cursing God's people—all he was concerned about was that, at the very end, he could make a death-bed repentance and squeak in between the bars of heaven's gate, so to speak. In the first paragraph (verses 19-20), the soothsayer admits his powerlessness before God. The Angel's explanation is telling: Behold, I have come out to stand [margin, as an adversary] against you, because your way is perverse before Me. ", How Balaam replies to the embassy of Balak is one of the main themes of this whole account. They never come under the authority of a local congregation; or if they do, they seek to undermine the authority that God has put in place. . He was probably from a family of soothsayers who specialized in blessings and cursings. Finally, people can be conquered in ways other than "abusive and dictatorial" hierarchy. We cannot take this story at face value. He was so angry that He came out against him, to stand in his way. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. Why? The true God was the "game in town," and if Balaam beat Him, he would be on the top of the pile. Again they had nothing to fear because God was still giving them manna six days a week and double on Friday. The gist of this section is that, after a few generations of multiplying, men as a whole began to leave God out of their lives. I pray that they would go to the Ghettos in Jamaica and give the youths a word. . He is so consumed with himself that he sees nothing down the road, only what is happening now. Another necessary piece of background information is that this scenario takes place in the months just before Israel's entrance into the Promised Land. It is located 400 miles north of Moab on the banks of the Euphrates River, twelve miles south of Carchemish. All he heard was, "Then you can go.". He was internationally renowned and may have been considered the best soothsayer in the known world. She was totally out of character! The Moabites did not have much of an army to field against Israel, which is why they did not try to block its way by force of arms. However, if a demon did communicate with him and was behind his sorcery, it makes Balaam even more evil. Please Jake i am now asking you for “a word”. As Christians, we have been given grace, freedom, and God-given gifts to do good. (Num 22:28-31). We have a hard time understanding why God would work this closely with such an evil, unconverted man yet never appear to us or even seem to inspire us with fitting words, a skillful reply, or an instruction on what to do in a difficult circumstance. He believed that the end justifies the means. Thus, He tells them to repent because some there, unlike Smyrna, had drifted away from what they had previously learned. Populaces have been overcome by trickery, disease, famine, natural disaster, and their own sheer stupidity. When members of the church teach and practice that they are not obliged to keep the laws of God, sin will inevitably break out vigorously. I have given you, not freedom from the law, but freedom within the law - to do good and not evil.". By putting together different parts of the Bible on him, Balaam comes out smelling like manure, not roses. The inclusion of four prophecies or oracles attributed to the Mesopotamian soothsayer Balaam has troubled some Bible students through the years. This comes, with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.