Grace for Your Journey
Baalam: Extraordinary Messenger
In Numbers 22 and 23, Balak, the king of Moab, sent messengers to Baalam to ask him to curse Israel. In v.6, he knew the power that Baalam possessed because he told him that “..whom thou bessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.” God informs Balaam that he has chosen Israel as a blessed nation and commands Balaam neither to go to Moab nor to curse Israel v. 12. However, after multiple commissions from the king, Balaam agrees to go to Moab. His hosts try to bribe him to curse Israel, but Balaam warns them that he cannot go beyond the word of the Lord. God was displeased with Baalam going with them but allowed it. As Balaam rode his donkey toward Moab, an angel of the Lord blocks his way three times. The angel is hidden from Balaam, but the donkey sees the angel and turns aside each time. Balaam becomes enraged at the donkey and begins to beat the animal with his staff. “And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said unto Balaam, ‘What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?’ ”v. 28.
Balaam begins to converse with the donkey. The donkey asked him “have I ever done you wrong? Baalam simply replies “Nay” It is funny when you think about which of the two were truly speaking intelligently.
What was Balaam’s problem? First—he was a prophet for hire. Money was important. His dilemma was that he had a knowledge of right and wrong, and whenever he debated the issue, he came down on the side of convenience and financial gain. “What’s your motive?” That is a question which needs to be answered anytime you have a tough choice to make.
Balaam mixed truth with falsehood and came out with a gospel that was no gospel at all. The very sad reality is, today, many people listen to a message which is tainted with Balaam’s philosophy, and they lack the discernment to know when someone departs from the truth and has corrupted the Word.
“But there is so much good in what he or she says!” God never is impressed with how much truth is contained in falsehood, nor should we be today.
God used an extraordinary messenger that day. Are we close enough to God to be able to hear Him through any conduit that He chooses to use. Sometimes the only way to get our attention is to speak to us through the most unusual sources.
Pastor Steve Adams