Balaam is a true prophet. Balaam is like Judas – he sells out the Lord for silver. (2 Peter 2:15 and Revelation 2:14) Balaam was a moral man who thought his spirituality was something personal and private that had nothing to do with his public and business practice. Balaam deceived himself. Do you and I?
“So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the LORD will say to me.”
Balaam fell to temptation – Avarice and greed, a longing for power, prestige and wealth.
— Perhaps the Lord might change His mind? Perhaps He’ll let me go with them this time? —
How many times do we take a similar attitude when there is something we want? When our desire is bent toward it rather than being fixed on Jesus?
Balaam was present for an incredibly strange world-first – A talking donkey!
And what does Balaam do? Does his jaw drop, is he amazed and astonished?
No. He is angry and argues with the donkey.
It is important to understand from this passage that even though God works good through our bad and brokenness He does not like it (our brokenness). He doesn’t get cosy with our sin. It is still and always abhorrent to Him.
Balaam sinned, and God worked through that, allowing him to go with the men, and working it for His own purposes (as we will see), but it was still sin. And God’s anger burns.
Hebrews 10:26-31 has serious things to say about the behaviour of deliberate sin after being saved,
“How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?”
On reading this passage in Numbers it is conviction we should feel – A conviction of our own sin, and a desire to pursue holiness. To flee from sin and resist the devil. And we can do both of these things in Jesus!
He gives us the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the readiness of the gospel, the shield of faith and the helment of salvation (Ephesians 6). The armor of God is ours in Jesus!
And we have been given the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. God’s word is our weapon!
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Psalm 119:9
* Gracious Heavenly Father,
Please write Your word on our hearts that we might not sin against You.
Please plant Your word deep in us and grow it, that we might be good soil and bear much fruit.
Please open the eyes and ears of our hearts today, so that we will hear what You have for us from this passage.