Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jude, Part 11

In today's study, we conclude our look at the "Error of Balaam" as mentioned in Jude 11.

Eventually, the Lord allowed Balaam to go, but he was to only speak what God told him to (Num. 22:20). Along the way, a strange thing happened. The donkey upon which Balaam was riding began to act strange (Num. 22:22-35). It was at this point that Balaam look up and saw the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword. I believe that the donkey saved Balaam’s life. God was going to kill him because of his motives. Make no mistake about, God knows our motives (Hebrews 4:12). When he finally arrived and met Balak, he received his instructions which were to curse the children of Israel. Of course, God would not allow this, so every time Balaam opened his mouth to curse the Israelites, he could only bless them. Naturally, that did not sit too well with Balak as that he wanted them cursed and not blessed (Numbers 23:7-11, 18-26, 24:3-11).

However, a closer look at Scripture confirms that Balak found a way around this to make his money. Revelation 2:14 and Numbers 31:15-16 make it clear what Balaam’s bright idea was. He couldn't curse God's people if God wouldn't let him, but he could help Balak bring God's curse upon them by getting them to sin. So, he told Balak, "Look, if you have your prettiest women camp out by the Israelite camp, then they'll fall in love, intermarry, fall into idolatry, and then the Lord will have to curse them." Amazing, isn't it? That someone who can have spiritual gifts and say spiritual things, can be sucked into sin so easily by compromise and greed?

Of course, God remembered Balaam’s actions and rewarded him accordingly. It says in Numbers 31:8 that the Children of Israel afterward armed themselves against the Midianites and “…they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.”

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