Skip to comments.Balaam 's relevance to today pt 3
Posted on 04/29/2010 3:59:37 PM PDT by pastorbillrandles
Balaam pt 3; Balaams Parables by bill randles
Balaam was a pagan prophet, a Seer, who was hired by Balak, the King of Moab . He was well known and highly sought after for his ability to deal with the various national deities. He would be the one to deal with the God of the children of Israel, perhaps by his knowledge of divination, he could invoke from their own God, a curse upon them ! Therefore Balak had sent a delegation to him, from 400 miles away , to pay him to curse Israel.
Balaam had already had more than one encounter with Jahweh, the living God, while preparing for this trip. First, Jahweh had told him expressely not to go with the delegation, and specifically not to curse Israel, because He, Jahweh had blessed them. But Balaam wanted the reward so badly, he didnt tell the delegation the whole truth about Israel, only that Jahweh forbid him to go with them. This left the door open for further offers from them,
When the delegation returned with even greater offers, Balaam prayed about it again. This time Jahweh told him to go ahead, but to speak only what he had told him to speak, But he went with them so eagerly, and so ready to do their bidding for the reward, Jahweh met him on the road in the form of the Angel with a drawn sword. Balaams life was spared by the very Donkey he cursed and beat. Thus Balaam had a definite idea of who he was dealing with, in the God of Israel.
When Balaam completed the trek from the Euphrates river to the border of Canaan, He was met by Balak and a delegation eager to witness the reknown Seer execute his curse on the unsuspecting children of Israel. However, Balaam warned Balak that he could only say what God would put in his mouth!
First there were the necessary rituals to be performed. Seven altars were erected and seven each of Oxen and sheep were slaughtered and offered, a sacrificial meal was served to the King and his entourage. The God of Israel had to be appeased by sacrifice, the number seven was his number, every ritual had to be just right if there was any chance of inducing Jahweh to sanction a curse against his own people!
Balaam stepped out, onto the high place of Baal, overlooking the camp of Israel, in order to look for auguries, in the pagan way of divination. But once again, The true God of Israel did indeed meet him and put Words in his mouth, commanding him to speak to Balak the King of Moab-
Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram,from the mountains of the east. Come curse Jacob for me, and come denounce Israel! How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced? For from the tops of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him; there, a people dwelling alone, not reckoning among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, or number one fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my end be like his!(Numbers 23:7-10)
Rather than the anticipated curse, Balaam was given an amazing blessing for Israel- containing several components which serve not only as blessing, but warnings- for example-
1) The impossibility of being able to curse Israel, whom God has blessed.
2) The God ordained seperation of Israel- she is not counted among the nations . .
3) The surety of the Promise made to Abraham that Israel would be numbered as the sands of the sea, and the stars in the heavens.
4) The blessedness of even the death of those so blessed by God! Curse them? Are you kidding? I should be so blessed as to so much as die the death of these righteous ones!
Being of the heathen worldview, both Balaam and Balak agreed that perhaps it wasnt working because they were wrongly situated geographically. So they broke camp and set up on Mount Pisgah, seven altars re-erected to try it from a different vantage point.
Once again as, Balaam set out to search for omens, the living God met him directly-and once again put a Word in his mouth.
Rise up Balak and hear, Listen to me son of Zippor! God is not a man that he should lie,Nor a Son of man that he should repent. Has he said, and will He do? Has he spoken and will he not make it good? Behold I have received a command to bless; he has blessed and I cannot reverse it.
He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor has he seen wickedness in Israel. The Lord His God is with Him, and the shout of the King is among them. God brings them out of Egypt; He has the stregth of the Wild Ox.
For there is no enchantment against Jacob, Nor any Divination against Israel. It now must be said of Jacob and of Israel, Oh What has God done? Look a people arises like a lioness, and lifts itself up like a lion,It shall not lie down until it devours the prey, and drinks the blood of the slain.(Numbers 23:18-24)
This prophecy is even more straightforward and intense. Jahweh, through Balaam commands Balak, the King and representative of heathendom to stand to his feet and listen! The context of the familiar scripture, that God is not a man that He should Lie or the son of man that He should repent Has to do with Gods eternal purposes for Israel. He will forever bless those who bless them and curse those who curse them regardless of any and every Balak, Balaam, Putin, Obama, Ceasar, World council of churches,Pope, or replacement theologians notwithstanding!
The emphasis of this prophecy is the Divine Justification of Israel. God does not behold iniquity in Jacob. This is not to say that God is unaware of the profound sinfulness of the Jewish people, because a scanning of the chapters before and after this story, verify that sinfulness. But as far as the eternal purposes of God for Israel are concerned, Gods attention is not on Jacobs iniquity, He has redeemed them by blood, as He alluded to in the prophecy when he said He brings them out of Egypt.
As a consequence of that justification of Israel, the prophecy warns the heathen King and the nations he represents, that whatever they think of Israel,
1) The Lord his God is with him in a way that He(Jahweh) is with no other nation!
2) Consequently ,He (Israel) has the strength of a wild Ox. There will be no taming or subdueing of Israel.
3) There can be no successful enchantment against Israel.,
4) People will say because of them, What has God done? in awe and wonder!
5) The prophet saw the people of Israel roused as a lioness, and not resting until all of her enemies were devoured!
This ominous message of blessing for Israel and warning for her enemies, infuriated the King , not being at all what he had paid good money for ! But being of a heathen worldview, who saw any Deity as some power to be manipulated by man, through the proper technique, they thought they would give it another try, from perhaps a more favoured location.>
Once again they made the seven altars and offered seven each of bulls and rams. But this time Balaam made no effort to seek auguries, in the way of the pagan seer. He was beginning to realize something. He looked from his vantage point upon the tents of Israel, (arrayed in the shape of a giant cross with the Holy Tabernacle at the very crux!) and this time the Spirit of God came upon Him and he was given an oracle,
The utterance of Balaam, the son of Beor, the utterance of the man whose eyes are opened,the utterance of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the almighty, who falls down with his eyes wide open.
How lovely are your tents O Jacob, Your dwellings O Israel! Like valleys that stretch out,like gardens by the riverside,like aloes planted by the Lord, like Cedars besides the waters He shall pour waters from His buckets and his seed shall be in many waters.
His King shall be higher than Agag, and His Kingdom exalted. God brings him out of Egypt; He has strength like a wild ox;he shall consume the nations,his enemies; he shall break their bones and pierce them with his arrows.He bows down, he lies down as a lion,And as a lion who shall rouse Him?(Numbers 24:3-9)
Blessed is he that blesses you and cursed is he that curseth you.
This time Balak couldnt contain His anger and fear. He clapped his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, I called you to curse my enemies and you have bountifully blessed them these three times! Now therefore flee to your place. I said I would greatly honor you, but in fact, the Lord has kept you back from honor!( Numbers 24:10-11)
There is an implied threat of harm to Balaam,in that Balak told him to flee back to his place. No wonder the King was livid, for the third prophecy foretold of even greater blessing for Israel, whilst at the same time, contained even more ominous warnings towards Israels enemies than the other two.
The theme is that of the fruitfulness of Israel, The beauty of her tents is that of a garden bursting with fruit, watered by a river, She is like a healthy, healing aloe plant , Israel towers as Cedar trees do !
As Abraham was told, that He would be blessed so that he could be a Blessing, Balaam prophesied that Israel would carry buckets and pour water out, refreshing people everywhere she goes in this desert world.
The seed of Israel would be in many waters, dispersed among all of the various nations of the world.
The king of Israel would be greater than Agag. Agag is not a name but an Amalekite regal title, like Pharoah, or Ceasar. Balaam prophesies here of a King coming through Israel, who would dwarf all Agags, Pharoahs, Ceasars, Kaisers, Prime Ministers, supreme leaders, emporers and presidents.
Israels power is emphasized again, She is like a crouching Lion, a wild Ox, consuming enemies, breaking their bones, piercing them with arrows.
Finally the third prophecy ends with the blessing God gave to Abraham, the very blessing the Kings of the earth, including Balak, ignore to their own peril,I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.
Balak wanted Balaam out of his sight, but he , Balaam was still in the influence of the Spirit of God. Therefore he couldnt leave until he delivered one more word from God, a word of warning, not only to Balak, personally, but to all that he represents, that is Heathenism, as in opposition to Israel and Israels God, the very kings of the earth and their rulers, who take counsel against the Lord and His Christ of Psalm 2 ,all the way until the present day-the prophesy begins with an even yet more ominous note ,Let me tell you what this people will do to you in the latter days .
This oracle will be the subject of part 4-What this people will do to you in the last days
Leave out the html and the links will work!
On Being Paid to Curse Israel
By: Pastor Bill Randles
I will bless those that bless you and curse those who curse you and in you all the families of the world will be blessed. Genesis 12:3
Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me, peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom thou (Balaam) bless is blest and he whom you curse is cursed. Numbers 22:6
Perhaps the most misunderstood story in the Bible is that of Balaam, the pagan prophet. When it is told, it is usually related as a morality story, merely a caution against greed in ministry. The love of money indeed is part of the story - as well as the danger of false prophets and corrupt ministers. But lately I have come to realize that there is an eschatological dimension to this story that too often is unappreciated. It is amazing how current and relevant the story of Balaam really is to todays geo-political situation.
The story takes place at the end of the Exodus; at the time the children of Israel were preparing to possess the land God had given them. Once again the immediate neighbors of Israel take exception to their rights to the land. The ancestors of the modern Arabs, Jordanians and Palestinians feared the Israeli occupation of the land, having full knowledge of what God had done to Egypt and through them to Og, one of their chief Kings.
And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. Numbers 22:2-3
Balak, the king of the Moabites, as it turned out, had nothing to fear from the Israelites, not knowing that God had commanded them not to dispossess the Moabites.
And the LORD said to me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give you of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession. Deuteronomy 2:9
This scenario is a current event, for there is nothing the modern state of Israel would welcome more than to live in peace with her hostile neighbors.
Balak, fearing Israel, and knowing he couldnt prevail militarily with them, set out to hire someone who could curse Israel. The word curse in this sense is a Hebrew word which means to hollow them out, to drain them of their confidence.
Is this not the modern situation also? Arab neighbors of Israel, frustrated by their inability to dispossess Israel out of the land, have been using their newly gained petro-wealth, and the power that goes with it, to literally hire people to curse Israel! They have been able to successfully deny the very legitimacy of Israel in the minds of many. Oil money has successfully lobbied political leaders, educators, the media and a good many of those who are in position to shape the ideas and perspectives of the rest of us, to take a belligerent stance against Israel.
Billions of petro dollars have poured into the coffers of institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Georgetown University, and Fox News, as well as into the campaign chests of numerous western politicians, all in the interest of selling us the story line which delegitimizes Israel, and romanticizes Islams version of history. There are many Balaams!
Perhaps the last straw is the seduction of leaders of the confessing Christian church into cursing Israel. No less than the Pope himself leads the charge in delegitimizing Israels claims to the Holy Land, as here recounted in a Jerusalem Newswire story dated May 17, 2009 entitled,
Pope to Palestinians, Israel is Your Forefathers Land
The Biblical land of Israel is actually the “land of YOUR forefathers” Pope Benedict told the Palestinian Arabs in Bethlehem last week. With this statement the pontiff, who has now departed Israel after five days of meddling in the country’s affairs on a “pilgrimage” he called “a mission of peace,” authenticity on the massive deception that is “Palestinian nationhood.
At the start, in the middle, and at the end of his visit - which was hosted by the State of Israel at no small expense to the taxpayers and mass disruption of Jerusalemites’ lives - the head of the Roman Catholic Church voiced his strong support for the creation of a Palestinian state on Jewish lands.
His first and last statements to this effect were made unabashedly in front of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - who has been trying to sidestep international demands that he surrender Israel’s biblical heartland to the Arabs.
Speaking at PLO Chief and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ palace in Bethlehem, where he went to conduct a large mass, the pontiff spelled it out:
“The Holy See supports the right of your people to a sovereign Palestinian homeland in the land of your forefathers, secure and at peace with its neighbors, within internationally recognized borders,”
The World Council of Churches, the United States Presbyterian Church, and a host of other church groups too numerous to mention have condemned Israel, divested themselves from Israel, in short have cursed Israel, in the sense of hollowing out their confidence, sense of legitimacy and validity as a nation. Balaam lives!
The reward has not always been money, however, as was the case with Balaam. These church groups siding with terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, against the only legitimate democracy in the Middle East, imagine that they are speaking truth to power, as they curse Israel. The image of themselves as guardians of the human rights of the Palestinians is reward enough for these false Christian groups.
Perhaps the most tragic of all is the erosion of the rock solid support which evangelicals have had for Israel. In the American Thinker article Splitting the Evangelicals from Israel, Ed Lasky cites Replacement Theology, the testimony of certain Palestinian Christian leaders, and former US President Jimmy Carter as part of the influence turning many once pro-Israel Christians against Israel. This is a portent that doesnt bode well, even as the story of Balaam doesnt end well for anybody but Gods chosen people. Stay tuned for part 2.