Numbers 23-25

Daily Reading

Numbers 23-25

Daily Thought

Question: Is Balaam a good witch or a bad witch?

The New Testament makes it clear, Balaam is a bad witch. “They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing” (2Peter 2:15). “Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion” (Jude 1:11). “But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality” (Revelation 2:14).

At first, it would seem Balaam does well and obeys God. Balak, the king of the Moabites, needed outside help to attack the Israelites. By outside help, I mean supernatural, spiritual help, and he didn’t care what kind of spirit. So Balak contracted Balaam, a prophet for hire, to curse the Israelites. However God met Balaam on his way to the king. The angel of the LORD, with a drawn sword in his hand, made it clear to Balaam, “Speak only the word that I tell you” (Numbers 22:31, 35). Balaam feared the word of God more than the sword of Balak and obeyed. “Must I not take care to speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?” “Did I not tell you, ‘All that the Lord says, that I must do’?” (Numbers 23:12, 26) And finally, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, ‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the Lord speaks, that will I speak’?” (Numbers 24:12-13). Those are good words, words we would do well to remember. So, rather than curse, Balaam blessed Israel.

Still, Balaam was committed to evil. Reading a few chapters ahead, we come to Numbers 31:16 and discover the deceit of Balaam, “Behold these [women], on Balaam’s advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the LORD.” Balaam was too afraid of God to curse the Israelites, but he knew how to defile them. He seduced them with the women of Moab to worship Baal. What Balaam couldn’t do by appealing to the demonic, he accomplished by appealing to the flesh, and the flesh was every bit as destructive. Balaam was a bad witch.

Daily Prayer

My Father, may I always obey you, no matter how costly. And obedience is costly. Your Son obeyed Your will and paid the price of the cross, bearing My sin. And obedience is rewarded. You gave Him the Name above all names, that at the Name of Jesus every knee would bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord.

And obedience is costly. I offer my body a living sacrifices. And obedience is rewarded. Well done, good and faithful servant. Come and share your master’s happiness. May I store up  treasures in Your home, not mine.

Amen

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