Dissatisfied with God’s plan of salvation and God’s plan for worship services these few are trying to bring in one new thing after another. Now we understand why the New Testament speaks so negatively about Balaam. Now we have the pieces to put together the full story. The other strange thing in this story is the talking donkey. Here God is, delivering His people out of slavery, and bringing them to the promised land, and Balaam wants to know if he should curse them. Balaam doesn’t seem to know God very well. I don’t remember ever hearing of a prophet of GOD getting paid. Yet we know for certain that the 900-foot apparition was not Jesus, for He doesn’t lie. God gave Jonah, a three day/three night stay, inside the belly of a fish. The story of Balaam takes place near the end of Israel’s forty years of wandering in the wilderness. This made Balak, king of Moab, very afraid and he sent ambassadors to Pethor - a place in Mesopotamia, several hundred kilometers away – to bring Balaam. (Numbers 25:1-3). If God were angry merely because Balaam was going with the messengers, then when Balaam offers to go back home God would say, “That’s right, you go home!” But instead, God repeats His original instructions: go with the messengers, but say only what I tell you to say. God, however, tells Balaam not to curse Israel, but instead to say only what God tells him to say. In Numbers 31, Israel is now following God’s instructions and attacking the Midianites as vengeance for what they did to them at Peor. Consider Benny Hinn on TBN (with Paul and Jan Crouch laughing uproariously), telling with much merriment of a man’s wig flying off when he fell “under the power” after Hinn touched his forehead. Berean Literal Bible And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them, the way of truth will be evil spoken of. Look at the death he died in Numbers 31: 8,16. Verse 19 shows how self willed he was and how he assumed God would change his mind and let him go curse Israel. If it seems that we are being too suspicious of Balaam in the way we are reading this story, a passing comment by Moses removes all doubts about Balaam’s bad motives. Had some wall Street promoter, through similar false promises, bilked people out of a fraction of the money Oral got he would be in prison. In verse 18-19 Balaam told them, “If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more. God tells Balaam to go with the messengers but that he should only say what God tells him to say. Colloquy, Gutenberg’s free quarterly newsletter, provides news and articles by Gutenberg faculty and community members. Satan knows that he cannot stop God from blessing His people. Please pray for two things: (I) that Christian leaders who are respected by vast audiences on national and international radio and TV will, like Jeremiah and the true prophets and apostles of old, take the responsibility of reproving and warning against modern Balaams who are leading multitudes astray; and (2) that specific teaching from God’s Word will be widely presented to arm true believers against “the way of Balaam” in whatever form it may appear. And in their greed, they will exploit you with false words. Perhaps Balaam is not going with the messengers just because God said he could; perhaps he is going with the hope that he can find a way to curse Israel and get rich. In our own day, it is hard not to think of those “ministries” that promise abundance and happiness, all the while collecting massive amounts of money from their poor followers so that the minister can buy his third mansion. Balaam knew that the only way he could get God to curse Israel was to get them to sin. The way of Balaam, is to disregard what God says, and to go ahead and do whatever you please. So Balaam tells the messengers that God won’t allow him to go, and the messengers go home to Moab, but that’s not what the king wants to hear. I’m going to end the lesson here, and Lord willing, we’ll continue next week. This was to be done, not by Christ personally but through his faithful preachers and church members. Again, however, I think that reflection helps us to see the point of this unusual event. Balaam would fit in pretty good with the world today, wouldn’t he? And the references are always to the “way of Balaam”, or to the “teaching of Balaam”, or the “error of Balaam”. “The way of Balaam” was a readiness to prostitute his high spiritual gifts and privileges for “The wages of unrighteousness” (II Peter 2:14), being willing to preach something contrary to God’s Word for personal gain.

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