Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Way of Balaam

Numbers 22

As Israel continued their northward march, they came to Moab’s land.
The Moabites carried heavy hearts fearing the Lord’s mighty hand.
Balak, their king, was sick with dread anticipating the worst,
So he sought to hire a diviner to destroy Israel with a curse.

The elders of Moab came to Balaam, the appropriate fee in hand,
Saying “Curse this nation of Israel; send them back to the desert sand.”
But God told Balaam, “Don’t listen to them. Israel is blessed by Me.”
Balaam sent them back to Moab rejecting the sorcerer’s fee.

But Balak sent more delegates, all greater than the first.
They promised Balaam fame and honor along with a very fat purse.
God came to Balaam later that night and said he could go with the rest.
Would Balaam decide to do what is right? Would he pass this spiritual test?

In the morning he saddled his donkey and rode with the Moabite princes.
The fame and fortune promised to him was all that it took to convince him.
Wanting Balaam to make the right choice, a great angel blocked his path.
When the donkey would not move, Balaam beat it with his staff.

Finally the donkey spoke aloud, “Why have you struck me these three times?”
An angry Balaam then replied, “Killing a donkey is no crime.”
Just then the LORD opened his eyes to the angel with drawn sword.
An astonished Balaam fell on his face at the revelation of the LORD.*

Now here is a point you must not miss: Balaam already knew God’s mind.
If he regarded integrity of heart, he would leave this business behind.
But Balaam played this game in his mind desiring their riches to glean.
The Bible clearly defines this for us in 2 Peter 2:15.

The way of Balaam is the love of money found when character is weak.
They speak “smooth words” to “itching ears” as fame and fortune they seek. **
The Scripture warns of many false teachers who twist the truth for gain.
Those who follow the way of Balaam do so to their shame.

The gospel is not a “feel good” story featuring rags to riches.
Neither is it a formula to confess away your glitches.
Many false prophets have already come from Smith to Prophetess Eddy.
But if you follow them, dear friend, at life’s end you will not be ready.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

* Most Bible scholars believe Old Testament references to the Angel of the Lord refer to the pre-incarnate Christ
** See Isaiah 30:10 and 2 Timothy 4:3 (NKJV)

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