The Error Of Balaam
Numbers 31:16; Jude 11
I. NO ONE CAN CURSE THOSE WHOM GOD HAS BLESSED (Numbers 22:6-14).
* + “I will bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you” (Genesis 12:3).
* + “And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.” (Numbers 24:1)
* + The thought of Balaam’s face being set toward the wilderness is that he may find a way to curse them.
II. TOO ANXIOUS, FROM GREED FOR WEALTH, LEADS TO THE ATTEMPTED CURSING OF WHAT GOD HAS BLESSED (22:15-21).
* + Remember Esau, and Jacobs stew (Genesis 25:29-34)?
* + The voice Balaam heard louder than any other was the jingle of the gold and silver coins in their purses, the position, power, prestige and profit he could receive if he would just “curse” these people wandering in the wilderness
* + There is no need to seek God’s advice again.
1. He is simply wanting God’s approval to go with the men (Numbers 22:1-21).
2. God in his patience with Balaam gives him a clear message which he disobeys (vv. 20-21).
III. WHEN THE DUMB CAN SEE AND SPEAK THE LORD MAY COME AND OPEN BLIND EYES THAT THEY MIGHT SEE (vv. 22-35).
* + “If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.” 22:20 (KJV)
* + Why is it that we can get out of the will of God, then blame God for not working in our lives?
1. “I can’t see God doing anything anymore”; someone might say.
2. It could be that God may have some “donkey” to speak to you so as to spare your life.
* + Here are some signs of the blindness of Balaam:
1. It is quite clear that the first approach was from enemies of God’s people;
2. Their payment method of divination, shows us that he was viewed by the haters of Israel as connected with sorcery;
3. He listened to them and their payment a second time without reservation;
4. When God tried to stop him, or at least to get his attention, he could not see it.
IV. THOSE WHO SAY THE RIGHT THINGS; BUT DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT HEART (vv. 23:7-12, 18-24).
* + Can a prophet or preacher say the right words without being in right relationship with God?
* + It is certain that Balaam knew the right words to say, and evidently God was giving him those words to say.
1. So the answer to those questions must be; YES!
* + Balaam’s life bore no fruit of righteousness.
Even John the apostle writing the words of Jesus to the church of Pergamum,
“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 (KJV)
V. WITH EYES WIDE OPEN; YET CONTINUE TO DENY THE TRUTH FOR SAKE OF LUST (vv. 24:2-9, 15).
* + It is the confession of Balaam himself that says his eyes were opened.
1. It is the LORD who opened his eyes (v. 4) to see Israel for who they were.
* + Jesus said; “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
+ There are many who say they know Christ, but have a greater heart for making wealth than they care to know the One who makes wealth.
VI. THE FUTURE OF ISRAEL, AND THEIR BLESSINGS (vv. 24:15-24).
* + Balaam’s eyes have been opened to the blessing of God upon the nation of people called Israel.
* + In this “parable” is a prophecy of the Lord Jesus; “there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel…” (v. 17).
* + Moab and Edom had been sources of conflict with Israel; even though related; and the coming King would and will deal with them according to His power and might.
* + The mere mention of his name throughout Scriptures seem to indicate that he was false in his life, and that is one of the keys to the recognition of the man of God.
1. The man of God is true to God;
2. The man of God is faithful to God and His Word;
3. The man of God lines his life with the Word of God;
4. The man of God speaks and the Word of God comes to pass.
(Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:20-22)
VII. AN EVIL THAT CAN BRING GOD’S CHASTISEMENT UPON HIS CHILDREN AND THE ANSWER (Chapter 25).
* + When God’s people sin it causes grief in the heart of God.
* + Since Balaam could not curse the people of Israel; he did one of the worse things that a pretender, hypocrite can do; cause evil to come into the heart of God’s people.
1. The sin of Balaam, and Israel was the ecumenical move of bringing the unholy into the holy.
2. Moab and Midian were of the same bloodline as Abraham
* + John Baptist and Jesus said, “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Matthew 3:9 (KJV) [words of John Baptist.]
“I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.” John 8:38-40 (KJV)
* + “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
1. Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galations 3:6; James 2:23).
VIII. THE HEART OF BALAAM WHICH WORKS RUIN (Numbers 31:16).
+ Though the heart of Balaam was with the Moabites and the Midianites; and for the wealth and perks that went along with it; there is in the midst of this immorality, and debauchery; many people who are grieved by the sins taking place in the camp of God.
* + These are found at the “…door of the tabernacle of the congregation”, and weeping because of this great sin against God and the people of God.
* + If we do things to cause a brother to sin; or to stumble and fall; then we fall into the category of the error of Balaam.
1. If we do or say something that causes us to look good while harming another; then that is the error of Balaam.
2. You may think, “I am not doing or saying it for pay?” Oh! You’re not? You have taken away something that belonged to another. You are in the “Error of Balaam”.
* + Though the child of God cannot sin successfully; neither will God overlook those who treat His children poorly.
-Tim A. Blankenship