Balaam

Let us take a quick look at Moab since they play a part in today’s teaching.


Genesis 19:30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”
33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my relative to what we are looking at father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.
37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab ; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.


So that is where Moab came from the son/grandson of Lot I am not sure if this would have been okay but it isn’t relative to what we are looking at today.


22 Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho.
Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.
The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.
So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River, in his native land. Balak said:

“A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me.Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.”


 The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.


Now we need to talk a bit about divination. In truth it means to prophesy without regard of the source. Now many might argue that it always comes from God but that is just not true. If you look at the Prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:19, 18:25, 18:40, 2 Kings 10:19, Jeremiah 23:13) They were not working for but against God as is abundantly clear in the 1 Kings references cited before,  So just because someone says they are a prophet does not mean they are working for God. In the book of Acts you also have Simon the sorcerer. This is what leads to some confusion. Divination is seen as always being of the devil and here in Numbers even though Baalaam was not really an upstanding prophet he always said what God told him even if he was not working strictly for the other side. You can question Baalaam’s motives but he delivered what God said to him. Lets continue.


This is from the NASB:

Proverbs 16:10 A divine decision is in the lips of the king;

His mouth should not err in judgment.


The word err there is a note with it it means unfaithful.


Bullinger agrees with the NASB


10 An oracle  is in the lips of the king;

His mouth will not be unfaithful in  judgment.


The word lips is a figure of speech called metonymy  which means switching one noun for another noun. Like saying I have my own ride instead of I have my own car.


8 “Spend the night here,” Balaam said to them, “and I will report back to you with the answer the Lord gives me.” So the Moabite officials stayed with him.
9 God came to Balaam and asked, “Who are these men with you?”
10 Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message: 11 ‘A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.’”
12 But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.”


God was very plain in what he said a big No and don’t go with them.


13 The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak’s officials, “Go back to your own country, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.”
14 So the Moabite officials returned to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”
15 Then Balak sent other officials, more numerous and more distinguished than the first. 16 They came to Balaam and said:

“This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me, 17 because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me.”


Now we have the devil upping the ante. He sends more important officials offering even more money. He will try this sort of thing with you, take a stand and he offers even more. Look at how he worked with Jesus he offered him control of the world if he would only worship him then went away for a time and came back and offered it again.


18 But Balaam answered them, “Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God. 19 Now spend the night here so that I can find out what else the Lord will tell me.”


That does not sound like what God told him to do. God didn’t say come back later and we will see he said don’t go with these guys. He wasn’t half right as I once heard someone teach he was all wrong.


20 That night God came to Balaam and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.”


So now maybe he will finally listen to what God is saying.

Balaam’s Ass

21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord Standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.


Seems like this donkey has more sense that it’s rider.


24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides.25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.


Starting to get to the point where you need to decide who is the bigger ass?
26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”


Now I don’t know about you but if an animal starts talking to me I’d be thinking serpent in the garden because animals don’t normally talk to you unless your Dr. Dolittle.


29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”


He is now carrying on a conversation with it so I begin to wonder about how God works with us. He will always do things in a way you will understand. In a way that you will know what he means he may have animals talk to you or you may get a vision or you may just know. I don’t know how he will do things with you I have some idea of how he works with me but I would never tell you this is how God shows us things because we have a personal God who treats us as individuals. If anyone says this is THE way God shows you things they are wrong. He may work with them that way but he may do things very differently.


30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”
“No,” he said.
31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.


Opps. I love the donkeys logic. Have I ever done this before? Then God opens the eyes of his heart so he can see what is happening.


32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”


There you go the donkey would have lived and Balaam would have bitten the dust.


34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”
35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.
36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon border, at the edge of his territory. 37 Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?”


Talk about a natural man responds, can’t I pay you well maybe there are more important things than just getting money or goods. Maybe what God and nowadays Jesus Christ want done is mre important than money.


38 “Well, I have come to you now,” Balaam replied. “But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.”
39 Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath Huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and gave some to Balaam and the officials who were with him. 41 The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, and from there he could see the outskirts of the Israelite camp.


So they went up a hill so they could see what was before them.


23 Balaam said, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” 2 Balak did as Balaam said, and the two of them offered a bull and a ram on each altar.


It does not say it but you know at this point Baalaam is going by God’s instructions on what to do.

3 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your offering while I go aside. Perhaps the Lord will come to meet with me. Whatever he reveals to me I will tell you.” Then he went off to a barren height.
4 God met with him, and Balaam said, “I have prepared seven altars, and on each altar I have offered a bull and a ram.”
5 The Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word.”
6 So he went back to him and found him standing beside his offering, with all the Moabite officials.7 Then Balaam spoke his message:
“Balak brought me from Aram,
   the king of Moab from the eastern mountains.
‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me;
   come, denounce Israel.’
8 How can I curse
   those whom God has not cursed?
How can I denounce
   those whom the Lord has not denounced?
9 From the rocky peaks I see them,
   from the heights I view them.
I see a people who live apart
   and do not consider themselves one of the nations.
10 Who can count the dust of Jacob
   or number even a fourth of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous,
   and may my final end be like theirs!”
11 Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!”
12 He answered, “Must I not speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?”

There it is you never know more than God tells you. If you are working for God he will tell you how to go and you do as he says and add or subtract nothing. What God tells you to do will never go against or flow at cross purposes to his word.

Balaam’s Second Message

13 Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.” 14 So he took him to the field of Zophim on the top of Pisgah, and there he built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
15 Balaam said to Balak, “Stay here beside your offering while I meet with him over there.”
16 The Lord met with Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word.”
17 So he went to him and found him standing beside his offering, with the Moabite officials. Balak asked him, “What did the Lord say?”
18 Then he spoke his message:
“Arise, Balak, and listen;
   hear me, son of Zippor.
19 God is not human, that he should lie,
   not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
   Does he promise and not fulfill?
20 I have received a command to bless;
   he has blessed, and I cannot change it.
21 “No misfortune is seen in Jacob,
   no misery observed[a] in Israel.
The Lord their God is with them;
   the shout of the King is among them.
22 God brought them out of Egypt;
   they have the strength of a wild ox.
23 There is no divination against[b] Jacob,
   no evil omens against[c] Israel.
It will now be said of Jacob
   and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’
24 The people rise like a lioness;
   they rouse themselves like a lion
that does not rest till it devours its prey
   and drinks the blood of its victims.”
25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all nor bless them at all!”
26 Balaam answered, “Did I not tell you I must do whatever the Lord says?”


Well He did tell him. I love the response. Neither curse nor bless them. Hey just keep quiet if you can’t curse them.

Balaam’s Third Message

27 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Come, let me take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them for me from there.” 28 And Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, overlooking the wasteland.
29 Balaam said, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.” 30 Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.


24 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. 2 When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him 3 and he spoke his message:
“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
   the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,
4 the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,
   who sees a vision from the Almighty,[a]
   who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:
5 “How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
   your dwelling places, Israel!
6 “Like valleys they spread out,
   like gardens beside a river,
like aloes planted by the Lord,
   like cedars beside the waters.
7 Water will flow from their buckets;
   their seed will have abundant water.
“Their king will be greater than Agag;
   their kingdom will be exalted.
8 “God brought them out of Egypt;
   they have the strength of a wild ox.
They devour hostile nations
   and break their bones in pieces;
   with their arrows they pierce them.
9 Like a lion they crouch and lie down,
   like a lioness—who dares to rouse them?
“May those who bless you be blessed
   and those who curse you be cursed!”
10 Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam. He struck his hands together and said to him, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but you have blessed them these three times. 11 Now leave at once and go home! I said I would reward you handsomely, but the Lord has kept you from being rewarded.”
12 Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell the messengers you sent me, 13 ‘Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything of my own accord, good or bad, to go beyond the command of the Lord—and I must say only what the Lord says’? 14 Now I am going back to my people, but come, let me warn you of what this people will do to your people in days to come.”

Balaam’s Fourth Message

15 Then he spoke his message:
“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
   the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,
16 the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,
   who has knowledge from the Most High,
who sees a vision from the Almighty,
   who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:
17 “I see him, but not now;
   I behold him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob;
   a scepter will rise out of Israel.
He will crush the foreheads of Moab,
   the skulls[b] of[c] all the people of Sheth.[d]
18 Edom will be conquered;
   Seir, his enemy, will be conquered,
   but Israel will grow strong.
19 A ruler will come out of Jacob
   and destroy the survivors of the city.”

Balaam’s Fifth Message

20 Then Balaam saw Amalek and spoke his message:
“Amalek was first among the nations,
   but their end will be utter destruction.”

Balaam’s Sixth Message

21 Then he saw the Kenites and spoke his message:
“Your dwelling place is secure,
   your nest is set in a rock;
22 yet you Kenites will be destroyed
   when Ashur takes you captive.”

Balaam’s Seventh Message

23 Then he spoke his message:
“Alas! Who can live when God does this?[e]
24     Ships will come from the shores of Cyprus;
they will subdue Ashur and Eber,
   but they too will come to ruin.”
25 Then Balaam got up and returned home, and Balak went his own way.

Numbers 31:7 They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and killed every man. 8 Among their victims were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba—the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword.

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