The prophet of God was to be faithful to God, God’s Word, and to God’s people. The prophet of God was to speak the truth, speak what God said, and on the immediate surface of things it almost seems that Balaam was faithful in those things. However, What was he doing going with the enemy of God, and God’s people anyway? There is a clue itself. If we listen to the arguments of our day; it might go something like this; “Well! We need to join with them, identify with them, know their desires, likes and dislikes if we are going to win them to Christ.”
What it ultimately comes down to is are we going to serve God and be faithful to Him; or are we going to serve mammon [material gain, popularity] and people’s approval? Balaam does not want to “rock the boat”.
My reading today consisted of Numbers 24 – 36. We are told in Numbers 24;
“And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way.” Numbers 24:25 (KJV)
We are not told precisely what Balaam has done but we see the results when in chapter 25 we have the evidence of his fine demonic labors.
“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.”(v. 1ff).
There was a man in Israel’s camp who saw the tragedy unfolding and became bold, courageous and filled with righteous indignation;
“And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.” 25:6-8
The Moabites had joined with the Midianites to destroy Israel. Balaam had failed to curse Israel as Balak had wished; but he did leave them a means to curse Israel. It seems that Balaam may have seen a weakness in some of Israel’s people, so he suggested to king Balak of infiltration with their debauchery in idol worship; and profaning the people of God and violating the laws of God. He is no prophet of God at all who shows the enemy of God the weaknesses of God’s people to cause their downfall.
In the end Balaam and five kings of Midian are killed by an army of 12,000 Israelite men (31:8). In verse 16 we are told that it was Balaam who caused the “trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor”;
“Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.” Numbers 31:16
The New Testament gives three verses dealing with the “prophet” Balaam,
“Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” 2 Peter 2:15
“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” Jude 11
“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Revelation 2:14
Woe be to the pastor, preacher, evangelists, and any believer who follows the way of Balaam, who runs greedily after the error of Balaam; or holds the doctrine of Balaam, casting a stumbling block before the children of God.
-Tim A. Blankenship