Numbers 23:1-30


This is the second chapter in a four chapter series.  In this chapter, Balaam receives two messages from God and prepares to receive the third message.


I.    The first message.  (Verse 1-13)

A.  The ecumenical movement continues.

1.   It started with Balak offering the sacrifices and Balaam eating the sacrifices.

2.      Now it has progressed to the place where Balaam and Balak are offering sacrifices.

3.      Balaam is in charge, telling King Balak what to do.

4.      They offer a bullock and a ram on each of seven altars.

5.   I suppose the altars are build out of earth like God commanded.

6.      Knowing this bunch of rebels, they could be using the altars that were used in the worship of Baal.

7.      Verse 3 - Balaam must go from the place of sacrifice to seek the face of God.

8.      This ought to tell them both that God hasn't accepted these sacrifices.

B.   The message from God.

1.      Balaam told God they had offered seven bullocks and seven rams on seven altars.

2.   I suppose God didn't know.

3.   God put the words in Balaam's mouth, not because of the sacrifices, but in spite of them.

C.   The message from God.

1.   The name of Israel is mentioned for the first time.

2.   God is not ashamed of the name of His people, even though there are those that are.

3.      Verse 8 - It is impossible to curse Israel.

4.      Verse 9 - Israel shall not be reckoned among the nations - not that they won't be a nation, but that they shall be a separated nation unto the Lord.

5.      Verse 10 -

a.   Count the dust of Jacob, or number 1/4th of Israel - This refers to Gen. 15, God's promise to Abraham.

b.   "Let my last end be like his" - This is Balaam's desire.

c.   See Numbers 31:8 - Balaam is killed by the Israelites when they are at war because he is again in the wrong camp.

d.   If we want to die like a Christian, we must live like a Christian.

D.  Balak's response.

1.   He didn't like what Balaam did.

2.   He still doesn't understand.

3.   So he takes Balaam to a still higher place.

a.   This is a higher mountain.

b.   It is also a place of more importance as far as the worship of Baal is concerned.

4.      Poor Balaam is getting deeper and deeper into rebellion and the judgment of God.


II.   The second message.  (Verse 14-26)

A.  The ecumenical movement continues.

1.      This time the services are held at the top of Mt. Pisgah.  As if a higher place will make a difference.

2.      They offer seven bullocks and seven rams on seven altars.

3.   I still don't know if they have built earthen altars or if they are using the altars of Baal.

4.      Balaam must leave the place of sacrifice to receive the Word of God.

5.      This ought to show them that God is not accepting the sacrifice.

6.   But blind people are blind and cannot see the truth of God's Word.

7.      Balak again stands by the sacrifices, waiting on the Word of cursing from God.

B.   The message.

1.      Verse 18,19 - Balaam gets Balak's attention and tells him God has not and will not repent of those good things to be done to Israel.

2.      Verse 20 - Balaam will do what God has said, and not change it at all.

3.      Verse 21 - God has found nothing wrong with Israel.

a.   God sees Israel as justified in spite of all her sinfulness.

b.   The shout of a king.

c.   I believe this shout is for Jesus Christ, not an earthly king.

4.   God has brought them out of Egypt.

a.   All the enchantments of Egypt failed and Baal's enchantments will also fail.

b.   God has put in them His strength and no nation will be able to stand against them.

C.   Balak's reaction.

1.   He is angry.

2.   He says don't do anything.  Don't curse them or bless them.  Just be quiet.

3.      Balaam waxes bold and again tells Balak that he must say those words given to him by God.


III. Preparing for the third message.  (Verse 27-30)

A.  The ecumenical movement continues.

1.      This time Balak takes Balaam to the highest, most important place of the worship of Baal.

2.      They go to the top of Mt. Peor.  This place is called Baal-Peor.

3.      From this vantage point, the entire camp of Israel can be seen.

B.   The same sacrifice is offered again.

1.      Seven rams and seven bullocks on seven altars.

2.   We still don't know what kind of altar was used for the sacrifice.