27/2/11 Numbers 21-27; Mark 6-7; 1 Corinthians 13
S: Numbers 22:12 But God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed."
Numbers 22:21-22 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. The angel of Yahweh 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.
Numbers 23:20 I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.
Numbers 24:1-3 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. When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him and he spoke his message: "The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor, the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly”.
Numbers 24:17-18 "Treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them. They treated you as enemies when they deceived you in the Peor incident involving their sister Kozbi, the daughter of a Midianite leader, the woman who was killed when the plague came as a result of that incident."
Numbers 31:8 They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of those who were killed—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. Balaam the son of Beor they also killed with the sword.
Numbers 31:16 Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.
O: What a character Balaam was! He clearly was a “real” prophet in the sense that he did get real revelation from God. And he started out listening to God, at least in the part of his story recorded in the Bible.
But he let himself be persuaded by the enemies of Israel, and God had to use an angel and a donkey to get his attention. Then he claimed to be “one whose eye sees clearly” and blessed Israel instead of cursing them as the enemies of Israel wanted.
But then, he still didn’t stay wise, and advised the Midianites how to get at Israel – by getting their men seduced by the Midianite women to abandon Yahweh. (Incidentally, it wasn’t marrying Midianites that was the problem – after all, Moses himself married the Midianite Zipporah. The problem was the faith of the women involved.)
As a result, when God gave the Israelites victory over the Midianites after they repented of the sin of worshipping the Baal of Peor, Balaam was also killed along with them.
A: Real Christians, and even real prophets, can get into serious trouble if we ally ourselves with non-Christians against God’s purposes. “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14) isn’t specifically regarding marriage only.
We are not to avoid non-Christians, nor to avoid making friends with them – in fact, we are supposed to do that, and to show the love of Christ to the world – but we have to be circumspect when buying into their agenda.
Perhaps for me, it’s in politics. I’m a big advocate in unifying with non-Christians in the fight against corruption and for democracy, but I have to be careful not to get involved with unbiblical goals.
P: Father, give me wisdom in my alliances with others. Keep my eyes open and in tune with Your will.