Balaam and Israel
Book of Numbers Chapters 23 and 24 and 31
It is in the Book of Numbers where we see the story of Balaam the prophet. Now Balaam was not a prophet of God, but he evidently had forecast some things that had come true much like some of the worldly prophets that we hear about.
Some you may know are Nostradamus, Mirza Ghulan Ahmes, Gordon Hinkley, Muhammad, Thomas Monson, T B Joshua, Jeffrey Lundgren (Murderer) Edgar Cayce, William Branham. Many of these, religionist.
You could include Balaam in this bunch of false prophets.
There are some other things we can see about Balaam.
The story of Balaam is somewhat comical especially when we see his donkey talking back to him.
We can see that God does have a sense of humor.
We also see that God is Sovereign over all His creation!
But we also see God is profoundly serious about these things Balaam had intention to do and there are many today who think they can offer God a sacrifice that will cause God to change His mind.
We can be sure that God never has to change His mind because God never makes a mistake.
Everything God does is the right thing to do whether we believe it or not!
Num 22:21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
Num 22:23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
Num 22:25 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
Num 22:27 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.
Num 22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
Num 22:29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
Num 22:30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
Num 22:31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
Num 22:32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:
Num 22:33 And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
Remember to be a prophet of God then every prophecy had to come true because the prophets of God got their information from God Himself.
Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
What did God say to do with all false prophets?
Deu 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
Deu 13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
It is the same for sacrifices made by false prophets!
The one thing we should know about all the sacrifices of Israel is that they in one way or another, were a type of Christ Jesus.
God never had pleasure in the sacrifice of animals.
The sacrifices commanded for Israel were to instill faith in this people.
The sacrifices of Balaam were more about superstition and less about faith.
It seems that Balaam was under the impression that a perfect sacrifice placed God under some obligation to him.
The sacrifices of Balaam were offered as a means to induce God to change His mind and God has never had to change His mind and God never makes mistakes.
Balaam felt that if the right sacrifice were offered, He could entice God to give him permission to place a curse on God’s people.
You see, there is no perfect sacrifice, but that sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
Today many try to use prayer in the same way Balaam used the sacrifice.
We can never convince God to change His mind!
We can never convince God to change His plans!
Prayer works because of faith and God will only change things that have no effect upon His salvation plan or any part of His overall plan which is written down for us.
God does not change things as such as much as He might intervene to change some outcome such as a healing.
Prayer works only because of our faith!
Jas 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Jas 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Jas 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
We see the prayer of faith.
We see that these prayers should come from righteous men.
Righteous meaning those who are obedient to the Word of God.
A sacrifice can only be looked at in the spirit of the one who made the offer.
Balaam was a wicked man who may have had been some prophet but certainly not a prophet of God.
There have been many such prophets throughout the years.
To be a prophet of God is to have every prophecy to be true because it came from God to begin with.
Man has no such insights into the future!
You see we must offer to God our absolute best.
Our best is not our possessions but is ourselves, so we must give all of ourselves to God for it to be considered a sacrifice.
God does not want part of us, He wants all of us!
Remember the story of Abraham and Isaac.
*Num 23:5 And the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.
Num 23:6 And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab.
It does not matter if we are a child of God or some lost soul.
When God says to speak certain words then it is those words we will speak.
The key to this passage is that if our Gracious God has blessed us, then there is no individual who can un-bless us!
There is no one who can call down the destruction of God’s people. No human and not Satan.
Jehovah God is in direct control of the things that happen to us! He does not cause terrible things to happen to us, but He may allow some things to happen to us.
We must remember this great through of the Bible:
Rom 8:28 And we know that “all things” work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
When terrible things happen to us then God had a reason for allowing them to happen!
When good things happen to us then God has His reasons for allowing them to happen!
Just as Balaam and this King Balak tried to curse God’s people by using God against us, the world is attempting to do the same thing to us today.
God will never curse those who love Him. He will in fact remove the curse that He placed upon this world one glorious day.
Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Rev 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
Rev 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
This is what awaits all those who have placed their trust in our Holy God!
We can try to make the perfect sacrifice, but if it does not come from a faithful and sincere heart it means nothing.
When we pray, lacking faith, then that prayer does not make it to Heaven and God will not hear that prayer.
Balaam who had been promised riches for cursing the children of Israel began singing to himself as he traveled to meet King Balak.
*Num 23:7 And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel.
Num 23:8 How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?
God’s blessings are beyond the powers of our enemies to change when we separate ourselves from this world!
As Christians we are independent from the politics of this world.
As Christians we are separated from this world because our morals do not all for immorality.
As Christians we possess privileges that this world can never offer to us.
As Christians we know the benefits of serving the Lord far outweigh any so-called benefit that this world offers.
Psa_68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
Psa_103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Psa_116:12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
Balaam might have had a worldly reputation, but he had no power to change the mind of God and no one else does.
No one can curse those God has blessed!
The sacrifice of a pagan is just the destruction of some animal and is meaningless.
All pagan sacrifices are meaningless to the Almighty God.
We can never sacrifice ourselves on the altars of the world!
Can a lost soul hear from God? Sure they can, but they must have faith and repent of their evil ways to have a meaningful conversation with the Lord.
To Balaam and King Balak, Jehovah was just one god amongst the many gods of this world.
Our world still believes this today that the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ is just one god amongst many gods that serve this world.
The Lord Jesus Christ does not serve the Church, we serve Him!
He came in the form of a servant to show us how to serve Him!
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
This shows us His great love for us.
Fake or false gods never show love, thank goodness they are just figments of someone’s imagination.
What truth did Balaam realize? Man has no control over the things of God!
God would not allow Balaam to speak one bad word about Israel to King Balak.
There is no power in false prophets!
Isa 47:10 For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.
Isa 47:11 Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.
Isa 47:12 Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.
Isa 47:13 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.
Isa 47:14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.
Isa 47:15 Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee.
We will never be able to do more than God allows us to do!
God overruled the purposes of Balaam and he had nothing to offer King Balak as a counselor.
You see no one can touch God’s people unless God allows it to happen! Even the Devil knows this! (Book of Job)
We may live in this world, but we are not to be a part of this world!
We can only lose our blessings if we go against the Word of God and He will be our “Judge”, not any other.
This world cannot take away from us the “love God has for us”!
*Num 23:9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.
Our safety comes by walking in the will of God for us.
It is our duty and our honor to separate ourselves from this world and never walk according to the ways of this world.
Israel stands above all other nations in the eyes of God.
Gen 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
The only peoples that stand above Israel is the Church.
Why? Because it was through Israel that we have the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ came to us as a Jew of Judah, a tribe of Israel.
No other nation will ever reach this magnitude no matter what the world thinks!
Balaam may have wanted to die the death of the “righteous”, but that was impossible for him unless he repented of his ways and have that true faith in Jehovah God!
Those who are righteous in the eyes of God use death as the first step to true life that is eternal!
We become righteous once we accept the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and our names are written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Balaam realized that he would never be able to curse Israel.
Num 24:12 And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying,
Num 24:13 If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the LORD saith, that will I speak?
God then used Balaam to make a sure prophecy.
*Num 24:16 He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
Num 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
What is a parable? A parable is an earthly story that has a true Heavenly meaning!
No doubt this is a prophecy of the coming Messiah and King of Israel, not King David but King Jesus, King of Kings.
We know that Balaam had a head knowledge of God, but he did not the heart of a believer and knew nothing of God’s “Grace”.
We should understand that all those who oppose God and God’s people will eventually see the truth of God’s wrath!
Num 24:18 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.
Num 24:19 Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.
God wants the people of the world to know that the Lord Jesus Christ will return in great glory and will rule this earth according to the Word of God for one thousand years and before He sits upon the throne of David, He will have destroyed all those who oppose Him.
Balaam was noticeably clear on this prophecy because God forced these words from his mouth even though he did not want to speak to them.
He did not want to make an enemy of King Balak, but God would not allow his silence.
This sure King would come in the future. The Lord has not yet come as King, but He is coming.
He come out of Jacob and rise out of Israel.
He will be victorious in all His battles and would crush Moab and Edom. The King of Edom was listening as Balaam spoke these words.
He would guarantee the survival of the nation of Israel.
He would guarantee the triumph and the dominion of God’s people. He would destroy all the enemies of Jehovah God.
There is none other than Jesus Christ who will accomplish all these things.
He is the Messiah.
He is the Deliverer.
He is Lord of lords and King of kings.
He will rule His entire creation as the Sovereign Lord of the universe.
1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
No doubt Israel will one day defeat all its enemies!
There is a greater battle that will be won than this as our Savior has been victorious over death, hell, and the grave, and offers eternal life to each believer.
Balaam was called on and paid big money to curse God’s people, but he could only tell this king of the destruction of his own nation and of the death of all those that opposed Jehovah.
For each of us that believe the truth of God we can see victory for all God’s people.
That victory comes to each individual the very moment we accept the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have learned that head knowledge is not enough, our faith must come from the heart and God can see into the heart.
The powers of this world have no chance against the power of God!
The evil wicked men of this world are but grasshoppers to God who will perish by the Sword of God’s mouth. In other words God will just speak and they will perish.
The Lord Jesus gives us victory over the temptations and the trials of this life.
The Lord Jesus gives us victory over the powers of darkness.
The Lord Jesus gives us victory over all who oppose us here and any that opposed us that were once in Heaven.
The Lord Jesus gives us victory over all things and from the persecution we have received in this life.
War was coming to Israel and Balaam had given the best advice he could of how to destroy God’s people.
It is in our flesh to fall into the traps of temptation.
Mat_26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Mar_14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
As long as we are in these bodies of flesh, we are subject to the temptations of the wickedness of this world.
These nations of Canaan Land and Moab and Edom had become so wicked that God knew they would never change and give their hearts to Him.
When time for war came God gave the order to destroy them.
Num 25:17 Vex the Midianites, and smite them:
This command was not followed as God intended.
We must understand that God will use a nation to be His arm of wrath and He has a vast knowledge of the future.
Rev_1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning, and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Israel did not do as God commanded.
Num 31:9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.
These are things we would consider as proper even today and are in many cases, but not at this time in Canaan Land where wickedness just was not going to end.
They had become as Sodom and Gomorrah.
It was these things that caused Israel to stumble.
*Num 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
Moses became terribly angry with God’s people because they had failed to obey the Word of God.
Moses was God’s mouthpiece, and his words were to be treated as the direct Word of God.
It was women just like these that had caused the judgment of God to fall on the children of Israel and 21,000 Israelites were destroyed of God.
What God has done in the past is something that God will do in the future because He never changes, and He demands obedience.
We may never understand all the things that God does, but if our faith is truly in Him, we will certainly obey Him.
This was Adam’s downfall and why we all have this sin nature to begin with.
Why little children?
We say it still today that our children are the strength of our nation.
We even say that the strength of the Church is in the hands of our children.
God says: Pro_22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Once these children had seen the wickedness of their parents and trained in those ways, it was very unlikely, they would ever change.
Look at how the so-called Palestinians train small children today.
This was not indiscriminate brutality.
These Midianites were a warlike people, and this was never going to change.
To bring this closer home we might remember at the end of World War II, all of Germany was bombarded because it was decided that the only way the Nazi menace could be stopped was to destroy most of its people who were solidly behind Hitler.
Japan got a taste of it with the first nuclear bomb.
This is why nuclear war is scary because it targets all peoples, the women the children and all the innocent peoples.
So no, the world has not changed, and it has not changed because we do not obey our Sovereign God who knows all the future.
Moses saved the innocent girls who were adopted by Israelite families and taught the truth of a Holy God, and they became part of the nation of Israel as free and not slaves.
God will destroy all the wicked one day in our future and not one wicked person will ever be allowed in God’s New Heaven.
Our world is becoming more wicked and ruthless every day and it cannot be contained by governments that approve of it, as is the America of today!