He speaks to him through a donkey! However, they were not at all grateful and decided that they would have to stop Israel themselves. Richard T. Ritenbaugh But now He has to do something drastic! Our job is to submit, to obey, to fear and respect Him, and if we do that, everything will work out fine. In counterpoint, God will do something to try to get Balaam to change, to turn. There are "Christian" people who are willing to kill their unborn children, yet know that the sixth commandment says, "You shall not murder." Simplicity means single, without ulterior motive, pure, sincere, and unambiguous.
The inclusion of four prophecies or oracles attributed to the Mesopotamian soothsayer Balaam has troubled some Bible students through the years. You shall not curse them. Balaam is an illustration of a person who has access to the truth—like a person who reads the Bible all the time—but never obeys it! He was internationally known—it was 400 miles between Moab and Balaam's home. Load the gold! It is concerning to me when a “prophet” or “prophetess” has a problem with authority, does not see a need for any accountability, or has a low view of the local church. This is a very personal and close form of communication. We might call it bending the rules. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I escape safely.
God does not demand, "Why did you leave your house when I told you not to unless they came back to you," but he asks Balaam why he struck the donkey. He did not understand God in the least. He was going to get his riches by cursing Israel - another vice! They were willing to do whatever they wanted—even to sin grievously—believing that in the end they would still be saved, because in their eyes what they were doing was not all that bad.
Not every name in the Bible is significant spiritually. These events, of course, set up the prophecies in the next two chapters, but they also highlight the two main themes of the story. It was his family's specialty. What Peter had been telling his readers to do was submit - submit to government; submit to the king; to governors; to anyone in authority - for the Lord's sake, because that is what God wants us to do. Characteristics of Balaam. . God surprises him by actually answering him!
The error of Balaam is turning the gift of prophecy into a means of financial gain. Does that make sense? They never come under the authority of a local congregation; or if they do, they seek to undermine the authority that God has put in place. Balaam wanted to do all these things—to have a relationship with God, to be able to bless and curse, to be a real prophet—but he never wanted to obey. All he does is to confess that he had sinned, justifying himself with, "I didn't see you. As recorded in Numbers 21, they had just defeated the Amorites under King Sihon, and they had smashed them—crushed them! Peter compares false teachers to Balaam, “who loved the wages of wickedness” (2 Peter 2:15). Nehemiah and Micah recall him to the people of their days as an evil man whom God defeated (Nehemiah 13:2; Micah 6:5). Jude 1:8 says that one of the characteristics of false prophets is that they “reject authority.”. Nevertheless, throughout Balaam's oracles, God stresses that He will fulfill His promises to Abraham. 0000003238 00000 n He wants the gold, the honor, and the reputation he would have by cursing Israel (who had defeated mighty Egypt and most of the nations they came in contact with).
Balaam lived at Pethor. Hebrew is a rather colorful language. Certainly, Balaam was no paragon of virtue. First, Nicolaos may have nothing to do with Nicolaitan doctrine. When members of the church teach and practice that they are not obliged to keep the laws of God, sin will inevitably break out vigorously. He wanted "heaven" without behaving heavenly while he was alive. Balaam, knowing Balak's position, negotiated pretty doggedly for the job. God has given us so many freedoms, but there are also law, responsibility, and submission to the will of God, things Balaam totally left out of the picture. Not only was Balaam a polytheist, he led Israel into sin by suggesting that Moab's women seduce the Israelites into sexual immorality and idolatry, causing about 24,000 Israelite deaths (Numbers 25:1-9; 31:16).
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