The Way of Balaam

The Way of Balaam



The Story: Numbers22-24

Intimidated King of Midian, Balak, hires soothsayer Balaam to curse Israel.

Balaam comes, provisionally, under threat to speak only as Yahweh directs.

Three divining sessions yield only God's blessing on the people. Balaam departs.


Conversation with a Donkey

Made his way on long journey on his faithful ride (22.21).

Animal 'misbehaves' and Balaam strikes to correct his path (vs22-27).

On 3rd occasion, donkey talks back! (22.28) And Balaam talks back (vs29-30).


Commending Balaam

Repeatedly espoused perfect allegiance to Divine will (22.13 / 23.12&26).

Refused to be bribed by rewards to deliver a curse on Israel (Num22.7 / 17&18).

Repented of indiscretion and offered to change his course (22.31 & 34).

Sought the divine will on every occasion he needed an answer (22.8&19 / 23.3&15).

Delivered each revelation as given, defying the king of Midian (23.5-11 / 24.10-13).


Aftermath: Num25 & 31

Deviously, Balaam advises Midian to entice Israel to promiscuous idolatry (Rev2.14).

This brings about the death of 24,000 who die under divine judgment (Num31.16).

Later, exacting divine retribution, Israel slays Balaam with 4 Midianite kings (31.8).


Lessons from Balaam

God's Love Brings His Blessing. Balak rightly concluded that only spiritual weapons could prevail against Israel. But, the real God was on their side (Dt23.4,5)!


Saying is Not Doing. Balaam says all the right things, vowing to speak nothing but God's revelation, but persists in seeking the advantage offered by men.


Gifts are Not Character. Balaam knows Yahweh and is inspired to proclaim truth, but bends to worldly temptation and uses his knowledge against God's will.


Persistent Worldly Involvement Is Madness. When we know that God wants holiness and purity, but we continue to associate with sin, we are acting a crazy! (2Pet2.16)


Selfish Greed Ruins Great Potential. Instead of holding true to God and even reproving Balak, Balaam flirts with efforts to earn worldly rewards (Jude11).


Holy Living Trumps 'Holy' Doctrine. Yahweh pronounced a blessing on Israel through Balaam three times, but idolatry and fornication brought a curse on them. (Rev2.14)


notes by David Teel Saturday, March 07, 2015