How to get what you do not want

People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan to do right.

Numbers 22-25


Men are very inconsistent concerning what they do as compared with what they want out of life.  People don’t smoke so they will get lung cancer.  People don’t use “smokeless” tobacco so they will get mouth and throat cancer.  People don’t use drugs so they will be able to fry their brains.  People don’t engage in illicit sexual activity so they will get AIDS so some other sexually transmittable disease.  People don’t drive over the speed limit so they will be able to get a ticket.  People don’t drink intoxicating liquors to the extent they lose control of their lives; lose their jobs, their families, their self-respect, and all their earthly possessions.  Women don’t have abortions, believing they are killing their unborn baby.  They have been brainwashed into believing their baby is a “non-viable tissue mass” which will become a baby if left alone.

All of the sins mentioned above are not entered into because the people are seeking to destroy their lives, or the lives of others.  They are simply seeking temporary helps, or temporary relief from their present troubles.  They are not thinking of the future, only of the present.  They are not thinking of the long term results of their actions, only of the present pleasure.

The end result of their not seeking God’s way and seeking temporary relief or temporary help is often their own destruction, plus the destruction of many people who unwittingly follow them.

Numbers 22:5 - Balaam knew Balak wanted him to curse Israel because they were the nation that came out of Egypt.  It is inconceivable that Balaam didn’t know that Israel was camped against Moab.  It is important to notice that Balaam was a prophet of God, but he wasn’t camped with the Israelites.  This is a major mistake of any person.  It is important for the people of God to dwell together.  When a person gets away from the true people of God, it isn’t long before they begin to think like the world instead of thinking like God wants them to think.  It isn’t long before they stop thinking about the good welfare of the people of God and begin to think only of their own welfare.  It isn’t long before they fail to see the providence of God in their own support in supplying the physical necessities of this life.  It isn’t long before they begin to believe they must supply their own physical necessities, because they don’t believe God can supply for them.  It isn’t long before they begin to live by sight (like the rest of the world they are around) instead of living by faith as commanded by God.

Numbers 22:6-7 - Satan comes to God’s people that are mixed with the world, with flattering words and the riches of this world.  They are telling us that we are important, which appeals to each of us.  See Proverbs 1:10-19 where wicked people try to persuade God’s people to do wickedness.

Verse 8 - Balaam didn’t tell them immediately that God would not curse His own people, but he should have known what God wanted, and he should have let Balak’s messengers know immediately and in no uncertain terms.  There are some things we ought to know about being faithful to God.  When we don’t know these simply fundamental principles, Satan, in the form of compromising men, will attack us at this very weak point.

The life of Balaam has been a great confusion to me in times past.  I didn’t understand exactly where he went wrong in his life, and what was so wrong about listening to what Balak and his messengers had to say.  The thing that confused me was the scriptures themselves.  Notice Numbers 22:12 when God told Balaam he couldn’t go with Balak’s messengers.  This is what Balaam told the messengers, and he didn’t go with them.  I figured that was what God expected.  I was wrong.  God didn’t want Balaam entertaining the messengers of Balak at all.  Notice II John 10, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God’s speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”  This passage may be in the New Testament, but it is still in the Bible.  The Bible, both Old and New Testaments is one book.  Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are in agreement with each other, and do not contradict each other at all.  What the Old Testament prophesies about, the New Testament records the fulfillment of that prophecy.

Compare Numbers 22:18-21 - Balaam entertained more important messengers than the previous ones, and told them in verse 18 that he could only say what God commanded him to say.  In verse 20, God told Balaam it was okay for him to go with them.  Why then, did God get angry with him in verse 22 because Balaam obeyed the commandment God gave him?  Because Balaam wasn’t supposed to be entertaining the enemy of God’s people in the first place. This is a fundamental principle of “Christianity” Balaam, as a prophet of God should have understood.  It is important for us to understand that God might allow us to do something that is against His commandments.  This “something” would seem right in our eyes, and for our own personal profit, but it would be against the fundamental principles of Christianity.  It is something that a dumb animal (like the ass Balaam was riding upon) knows is wrong !!

The plain truth is that we have no business messing around  with sin, or even entertaining the idea of sin.  I know that all of us get more involved with wickedness than we ought to, but we should remember there is a great penalty to be paid.

I finally got Balaam figured out when I read four passages of scripture.

1.      Numbers 25 - Because of the compromising of Balaam, many people of Israel decided it was okay to also play around with the Moabites.  Because of this great sin, verse 9 declares that 24,000 of the Israelites died of the plague of the Lord.

2.      Numbers 23:10 - Balaam prophesies what God tells him to prophesy, declaring, “…Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end by like his!  Compare to Numbers 31:8 - Balaam dies at the hand of the Israelites when they invade the Midianites.  Why did this happen?  Because Balaam didn’t obey the clear commands of God, but played around with sin and wickedness. He paid the price for his disobedience.  It is important to understand that apparently Balaam still wasn’t living with the Israelites.  You would think he would be living with the people of God, not with the enemies of God.  You would also think that the people of God would want to be around the people of God, not with the enemies of God, or mixing and mingling with the world.

3.      II Peter 2:14-20 reveals the extent of the great sin of Balaam.

4.      Jude 11,12 declare that people like Balaam, Korah, and the like or spots in our feasts of loving worship to God.