The Doctrine Of Balaam…Balaam pt 11

Nevertheless I have a few things against you, for you have there those who hold to the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication… (Rev 2:14)
By the end of the fourth ‘parable’ of Balaam, both he and Balak the king were fully aware of God’s purposes for Israel. The utter impossibility of using any kind of divination against Israel was now obvious to the badly shaken king and to the seer also – whose eyes God had opened.

They would go their separate ways, although the prophet Micah records an exchange between the two of them – Balak inquiring in utter fear and trembling, “What would it take to appease this fearful God?” Balaam’s inspired reply would become one of those much-loved verses that few realize who it was that the Lord used to utter.

My people, remember what Balak King of Moab counseled and what Balaam son of Beor answered…with what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

Balaam, still under the influence of the Holy Spirit answered,

He has showed you oh man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:5-9)

It is unfortunate that neither Balaam nor Balak listened to the inspired counsel. What does the Lord really require? Balaam by the Spirit offers a concise summary of what God requires – righteousness, mercy and humility.

He requires nothing less than perfect righteousness. But because of the complete lack thereof, He also requires the reception of His own mercy, which is forgiveness – propitiation by substitution – and the humility, which would accompany such a faith. The real God requires righteousness, but what He requires, in mercy He provides! This should inspire utter humility before Him.

But Balak and Balaam each worshipped their own gods. Balak’s god had already proven impotent, unable to stop the Israelite advance, nor to even allow them to be cursed. Balaam’s gods were money, prestige and position. He would not defect from them even in the face of the power of the God of Israel!

It would be a long trip home for Balaam, this time he would not be accompanied by the Arab nobles who had crossed the four hundred mile desert twice previously to court him. There would be lots of time to think though. But there would be no reward, no honor nor prestige for him, he had failed to successfully overcome Genesis 12:3, he simply couldn’t curse Israel. The God of Israel could not be induced to turn against them.

It was perhaps on this trip home that the inspiration came to him, the idea that rather than cursing Israel, perhaps by luring Israel into gross and abominable sin, she might be induced into bringing the judgment of the holy God upon herself. This is the doctrine of Balaam that Jesus warned about.

Balak and Balaam met again apparently, and organized a Pagan festival at Baal Peor, that is ”Lord of the Opening”, within range of the encamped children of Israel. Paganism was and is a sensual affair – altars to Baal were set up, choice offerings of beef were set upon the grills, sensual music was conducted and the wives, daughters and virgins of Midian and Moab were presented as sacred prostitutes to any and all who were drawn to the party.

And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people did eat and bowed down. And Israel joined herself to Baal Peor, and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.(Numbers 25:1-3)

To the ones who left the camp of Israel, following the siren sound of the pagan music, the festival to Baal could be rationalized as just a sensual experience and nothing more. The aroma of the choice steaks cooking on the altars of Baal, the pleasures of the wine and women of Midian was all just a little relief from the monotony of a lifetime in the desert eating manna. We don’t really believe in Baal, we just need to blow off a little steam.

But to God these experiences represented so much more. “Israel has joined herself to Baal Peor, she has yoked herself to an alien god, she has played the harlot”! So it is today that too often even a confessing Christian can also rationalize that compromise with fornication, pornography, worldliness and false religion are meaningless when it isn’t. Perhaps a similar soul killing plague is broken out among us also, and we just don’t realize it!

When a plague broke out in the camp of Israel, it almost looked as though Balaam’s teaching would obtain the intended result. God had not turned against Israel, but by Balaam’s counsel, Israel had turned against God, and would now pay the price of judgment against them.

But Moses quickly responded to the divine command to hang the leaders of the defection, thus transferring the curse that had come upon the nation, onto the cursed ones hanging on the trees. The swords of the judges of Israel also destroyed the men who had corrupted themselves. Decisive action is required in the face of such defection and apostasy.

But in the midst of such a scene we encounter another very modern and relevant phenomenon, the blatant gall of evil. Evil has become so bold it is almost paralyzing to those who seek to overcome it. It no longer hides; it has come out into the open and challenges us to our face.

And behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto His brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all of the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

There was a faithful remnant in the camp, who fled to the  tabernacle and assembled in the fear of God, weeping, repenting and clinging to God.

But into the camp, an Israelite Prince came in boldly, with a prominent Midianite Prince on his arm,  “in everyone’s face”.  There were in the camp, hanging scaffolds or trees suspending the corpses of the rebellious leaders of the apostasy.

The congregation was trembling , burying their own  among the twenty four thousand who had died of the plague. The faithful remnant huddled at the tabernacle, crying out to God for mercy.  But into the camp strode a prince of Israel and a Midianitish princess. both of whom had the gall to openly flaunt the sin that had caused such suffering.

This is the blatancy of evil and it called for some kind of reaction, for it was a direct challenge to the congregation of Israel.

It was as though this Israelite Prince was declaring before the whole congregation, “I do what I want to do…Moses, and God mean nothing to me…I am my own master…”.

But Phineas, the grandson of Aaron the High Priest, without hesitation stood up in the congregation and with spear in hand followed the brazen couple to their conjugal tent, where he ran them through with his spear. Thus Israel – through Phineas in his representative capacity as their priest – rejected the idolatry and fornication and the plague was stopped. Balaam had again failed to curse Israel.

But the consequences for listening to Balaam were forthcoming for Balak and his people and they would be severe. Deuteronomy tells us that because of the doctrine of Balaam, none of the next ten generations of Moabites would be admitted into the congregation of Israel. A war of extermination was commenced against Balak’s kingdom.

The utter destruction of this culture of evil as recorded in Numbers 31 has caused many to accuse the Israelites of genocide – and the God who commanded them of being barbaric. But what kind of culture would be so intent on resisting Genesis 12:3, that it would offer its women and girls as prostitutes in order to destroy Israel? Certainly a death loving culture for whom marriage is nothing and where there is nothing sacred – nothing could compare with the desire for revenge and destruction.

This part of the story also is eerily relevant to today. The spiritual, moral and in some cases physical descendants of the Moabites and Midianites also hate Israel so badly that they are willing to use sex and sexuality to destroy them. In its current manifestation, this involves the promise to miserable, frustrated, unemployed young men the eternal use of 72 perpetual virgins – if they would be willing to commit mass murder of Jews. What do you suppose the future holds for this toxic culture?

Balaam had once prophesied wistfully that he would want to die the death of righteous Israel, rather than curse them. But alas for him, he took his stand rather with the wicked and is in hell today, having been found among the corpses of the princes of Midianites. Like Judas, he knew all too well what the truth was but his inward affinities took him elsewhere.

 

Posted in Balaam and The End, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Scope of Balaam’s Prophecy…Balaam pt 10

Balaam’s prophecy to Balak, the King of Moab is remarkable on many levels. the fact that Balaam wasn’t even a believer is an incredible testimony to the Sovereignty of God. Truly he makes even “the wrath of men to praise Him”.

The fact that He was hired by one of the bitter enemies of Israel to curse them, makes this a story about Genesis 12:2-3, which was cited several times in this narrative.

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.(Genesis 12:2-3)

Sometimes it was cited perversely, as when Balak applied it to Balaam himself, putting him in the place of God, as the one with the power and prerogative to “Bless and curse”, but at other times it was cited in the Spirit of God, as in the third prophecy.

The point could not be more relevant to our own times, when the nations of the world are uniting in their hatred and condemnation of Israel. The Heathen rage and the people truly imagine a vain thing, when they think they can curse Israel and end up intact.

I believe that this story is also important for the incredible scope of the prophecy given to the Pagan Seer. Balaam, like Moses and Daniel, prophesied the entire course of the chosen nation, as well as the fate of her open enemies until the end of time.

* The Separation of Israel– “Lo a people dwelling alone, and not reckoning itself among the nations”. Truly in spite of it’s best efforts, Israel has never been able to integrate fully into the community of nations. Though her backslidden aspiration from the book of Judges was always to be a nation “like other nations”, God has separated her for himself.

Even in our own “enlightened times”, Israel is treated as a pariah, unable to have a vote in the U.N., unable to name her own capital, Jerusalem .She yet remains unable to sit on the U.N. security council, and has always been unable to ever fully integrate into the European nations where she was driven, truly this is a nation dwelling alone.

* The Messiah-“I see him, but not yet…“. Balaam prophesied the advent of the “Star” out of Jacob, the “scepter”from Israel, a powerful world ruler who would be given the dominion over all other nations, and who would oversee the total destruction of all of those haters of Israel of whom Balak stood as representative and type.

The second century Jewish pretender, Simon Bar Cochba , the “Son of the Star” was believed to be the fulfillment of this prophecy, until his rebellion destroyed the nation and ended in national dissolution and slavery.

* The Babylonian and Persian Captivity of Israel– Balaam prophesied of the Kenites, a servant tribe who amalgamated with Israel, that they would remain until “Asshur will lead thee away”- Asshur comprised the eastern Kingdoms now known as Iraq and Persia.

* The Final Western Dominance- Balaam saw the arrival of the ships of Kittim. How was he to know that Israel would one day so defect from God, that she would be turned over to domination by various gentile powers, the first two eastern(Asshur) and the final two, western(Greece and Rome).

We are currently in the ‘sunset’ phase of the final gentile,(Western) dominance over Irae, which commenced with the arrival of those western ships which Balaam saw by the Spirit. The times of the gentiles are nearly over! Maranatha!

* The Great Tribulation-Balaam saw the destruction of the great cities of the middle east, and the terrible doom of Israel’s sworn enemies, calling them the “Sons of Sheth”, that is “children of tumult”. Balaam virtually echoes the Saviour’s warning that unless he return, all flesh might perish, , when he proclaimed, “Who shall live when God does this?”.

  • The AntiChrist- The Star, King Messiah will be “Higher than Agag”, which was the title of the then reigning Caananite Kings, who like Pharoahs, Caesars, Emporers and dictators who would follow, all typify the final Agag, the AntiChrist.

Thus the Pagan prophet’s utterances are comparable to Daniel in scope. God used him in spite of himself and his prophecies are more sure now than ever. However, in site of all of this experience, Balaam yet wanted a shot at the money and fame Balak had offered him.

Share this:

Posted in Balaam and The End, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What This People Will do In The Last Days…Balaam pt 9

And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the Lord hath kept thee back from honour. And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the Lord saith, that will I speak? And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.(Numbers 24: 10-14)

Balak, the King of Moab is livid! He has gone to great expense to bring in a Seer to curse Israel, but in the three attempts to curse them, the prophet could only bless them. To make matters worse, the blessings he uttered over this strange pilgrim nation, increased in intensity each time. Israel would be blessed greatly, and her enemies would be utterly crushed.

Humanly speaking, Balaam would have been fortunate to escape the enraged Arab potentate with his life! Balak didn’t merely fire him, he ominously warns him to “flee to your place…”, as though He would have harmed or even killed him.

But Balaam isn’t quite through yet, he yet remained under the influence of the powerful Spirit of the God of Israel, and had one more devastating Word to deliver to the disappointed King. The son of Ishmael would have to listen to the unveiling of the ultimate purpose of God for this people, and of the doom of all of their enemies, of which He sat as representative;

And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:

He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:

Balaam is not speaking as a typical pagan Seer; one seeking auguries, portents or omens to divine the mysteries hidden from mortal men. Balaam here , by the Spirit, speaks as a man to whom God has been pleased to reveal his will, and not on Balaam’s own terms or by His craft, but by a Sovereign act of the LORD.

I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.

Balaam saw a person of great authority, a “star” and a “Scepter” to arise out of Jacob, a mighty World Ruler would arise in the future, at the time of the end who would utterly smite Moab, and all that Moab represents, ie Heathendom that hates, fears and resists Israel to the point of seeking her destruction.

We know from subsequent history that the Moabites were subjugated by David, and eventually faded away as a people entirely, being amalgamated into the surrounding Arab peoples, and ceased from being a Kingdom as did also Ammon and Edom. But this is a prophecy about what shall transpire in the last days.

The territory once inhabited by Ammon and Moab, is now peopled by a bitter and implacable foe of Israel, indeed the whole region round about Israel is peopled by people very much in the character of King Balak, constantly clamoring for Israel’s annihilation.

Indeed they are the descendants of Ishmael, Midian, Esau, Moab, and Ammon. They are bound together by a religion that proclaims that “the last days will not come until the Muslims wipe out the jews…. “. Their hatred for Israel is described in Ezekiel 35 as the “Everlasting Hatred” that God is going to judge.

This prophecy by one of their own, a pagan seer, is a warning that they are fighting against almighty God himself in seeking to curse Israel, and that it is doomed to utter and eternal failure from the start.

Balaam proclaims that this “Star out of Jacob” will “destroy the children of Sheth. Sheth is not a name, it is a description, it means Tumult. “He will destroy the children of tumult”, that is , every rebel and trouble maker.

It is to be noted that the Islamic Arab world, has unleashed upon the civilized world a torrent of tumult, in the form of terrorism. Terrorism, sanctioned by the Koran has necessitated security precautions which has cost the world billions of dollars, has engendered many bloody conflicts, and has upset the peace in every society on the globe.Truly these are the “sons of Sheth”.

And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.

The redeemed nation first encountered national resistance against the Amalekites. Balaam saw their end, they would be blotted out forever. Death and eternal perdition to all that the Amalekites are and all that they stand for. Deuteronomy 25:17-18 tells us that Amalek’s mode of operation was terroristic, attacking the weak and sick stragglers.

And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock. Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.

The Kenites were the tribe that would trick Israel into a treaty and become employed as wood hewers and water bearers for them, rather than being wiped out. Their “strong nest” was to become incorporated into Israel. Thus did the Kenites survive until the Babylonian captivity, where they were taken away with Judah.

The contrast is meant to be drawn between the Amalekites whose resistance doomed them,to the Kenites, Canaanites who assimilated into Israel and thus lived.

Balaam saw all of this . He also saw the final, great Tribulation,

And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!

And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever. And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way.(Numbers 24:15-25)

Finally Balaam saw what Daniel saw centuries later, that Israel herself would come under the rule of gentile powers, first of the east, (Assur, Babylon,Persia), but finally and until the end, the West, (Ships of Kittim, Greece and Rome).

At the end, in the time of the advent of the Star, and scepter, All of Israel’s enemies will be utterly destroyed in a time of tribulation so terrible, Balaam cried out,

Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!

 

Posted in Balaam and The End, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Fruitfulness of Israel…Balaam pt 8

Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said:  He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: 

How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel!  

As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side,

as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted,

and as cedar trees beside the waters. 

He shall pour the water out of his buckets,

and his seed shall be in many waters,

and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.  

God brought him forth out of Egypt;

he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn:

he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones,

and pierce them through with his arrows.  

He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion:who shall stir him up?

Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee. (Numbers 23:4-9)

Balak, the king of the Moabites had high expectations when he hired the renowned Seer from the Euphrates to curse Israel. But in spite of the preparation; the sacrifices, altars, the use of the sacred number seven and the discerned favorable locations, when Balaam stood up to curse Israel, only blessings would come out. Each time, the blessings increased in intensity, and in woe upon Israel’s foes.

Perhaps they would find success from another location. So the camp was again struck, and the trek was made to mount Peor, where an auspicious location was found to set up the seven stone altars, for the sacrifice of seven bulls and rams each.

But by this time the Seer realized that the God of Israel was not a god that required the seeking of omens or auguries, as he had attempted in the two previous prophecies. This is a God who cannot be manipulated by ‘prophets’ such as himself, but one who reveals Himself on His own terms.

Balaam surrendered himself temporarily , as a tool of the Holy Ghost.

And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.  And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. (Numbers 23:1-2)

The Scripture makes note of the sight of the tents of Israel. From this particular aspect, Balaam would have been seeing the layout of the whole camp of the Holy people. At the center was the Tabernacle, overshadowed by the glory of God in the form of a pillar of cloud and fire.

Projecting from that center in the four directions of the earth, would have been four straight lines of thousands of rows of tents, Three tribes to the North, three to the South, and three each to the east and the west. Balaam would have been looking down upon a huge cross!

His prophecy likened the camp of Israel to a well-ordered, irrigated , and fruitful garden. Such are the people whom God has chosen, and transplanted, and set aside for cultivation by His word and watered by his Spirit!

They would fill the land with fruit, they would flow like swollen streams, sprouting the healing Aloes, and nurturing majestic Cedars. The people of Israel would become like an Aloe plant, they would grow as a Cedar, because of the water source they draw from.

Israel would become like a water carrier, whose buckets constantly overflow, spilling and  making everything green, refreshing everyone, and overflowing in blessing to all. The seed of Israel would be spread throughout all of the waters, blessing the whole world!

All of this blessing is traceable to the salvation purchased by the blood of the Lamb, when He brought this people out of Egypt.

This redeemed slave nation would have a King far greater than Agag, which was the title for the Amalekite rulers,  like Pharoah and Caesar.  The King Messiah, will ultimately prevail over the final Agag, the antichrist who stands as  representative for all gentile opposition to God and his purposes.

To further this point, Balaam prophesied that Israel would be like  the unicorn,( the aurochs), a great horned , wild ox , raging against and trampling all of her enemies, breaking their bones and finishing them off with arrows.

The Spirit likened Israel also to a lion, as in the last prophecy. This time the Lion is lying down, sated, it has triumphed and eaten its fill, but woe to the one who rouses him! It is interesting that this is very similar to the prophecy Jacob gave to his son Judah,

 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?(Genesis 49:9)

Finally the Spirit reiterates the warning to the fool’s errand that Balaam and Balak have undertaken, by quoting in part, the blessing and cursing of  Genesis 12,

Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.

Oh that  our current crop of rulers and leaders, Sheiks, presidents and Kings all would take heed and establish this as their own foreign policy! God doesn’t lie.

Posted in Balaam and The End, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Justification of Israel… Balaam pt 7

And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence.  And he brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.  And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the Lord yonder. And the Lord met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus.  And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the Lord spoken?  And he took up his parable, and said,

Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:  

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent:

hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?  

Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed;

and I cannot reverse it.  

He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel:

theLord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.  

God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.  

Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel:

according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!  

Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion:

he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.  

And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.(Numbers 23:13-25)

Balaam’s first pronouncement over Israel was a disaster as far as Balak the King of Moab, was concerned. He had spared no effort or expense in setting up the seven altars, and the seven rams and oxen which were offered to the LORD by the pagan Seer. But when the prophet finally went forth to ‘curse Israel’, a profound blessing instead issued forth instead!

Israel is special, she is separate from all of the nations, and destined to number in the millions. It would be impossible for anyone to curse these, whom the Lord has not cursed. Curse them? If Balaam could so much as die their death, he would be fortunate! To be able to die the death of those who are ‘in the right’ with God would be the highest blessing possible.

Balak and Balaam being pagans, thought like pagans. Surely this effort failed for a reason. What had they done wrong? Could it be that the prophet was disturbed by the spectacle of the whole camp of Israel before him?   Or perhaps because the location  they choose with which to curse Israel, was inauspicious. Had they stood on the wrong aspect of the mountain, or faced in the wrong direction?

So the Seer and the King’s entourage struck camp to find a better place from which to destroy Israel. From mount Pisgah, seven altars were again erected, seven Rams and Oxen again offered to the LORD, and again the prophet went forth to seek a word against Israel.

But sooner than any expected, the Seer returned to the waiting King, and in the spirit of prophecy, commanded Balak to arise to hear the word of the LORD.

The first point of this prophecy, is the character of the God of Israel. Unlike the pagan Gods who could be capricious, Israel’s God doesn’t lie, nor can His mind be changed. He is a faithful God, who does what He says He will do, and whose purpose cannot be altered.

What purpose is he referring to specifically? This is the context for the familiar verse “God is not a man that He should lie, or the Son of man that He should repent” . It has to do with God’s stated purpose to bless those who bless the seed of Abraham, and to curse those who curse them. That purpose cannot be altered by Balak, Balaam or any King or ‘prophet !

Then the prophecy addresses the Divine justification of Israel. “He hath not beheld any iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen any perverseness in Israel”.

Many times over the centuries Israel’s enemies have taken courage to persecute her from the very public record of her sins. They feel they have received a mandate to wipe her out for the evils Israel has done.

Those pagans who would have spied on the camp of Israel would already have witnessed the ‘golden calf’ incident,  a great deal of murmuring and murderous threats by Israel against Moses, and Aaron, Korah’s rebellion and numerous other incidences of Israel’s unfaithfulness.

What does the prophecy mean when it says that ‘God doesn’t see iniquity in Jacob’? Balaam is prophesying that this is a people justified before God. Through the God appointed sacrifice, this people’s sins are covered, atonement has been made, and God’s anger against their sin has been propitiated. In this sense God sees nothing wrong or perverse in them.

Therefore it would be impossible to successfully work an enchantment against them, no divination could ever work on them.  At the center of the camp of Israel, was the tabernacle of God himself, overshadowed by day with the cloud of Glory, and by night with a pillar of fire. God himself dwelt in the midst of them, the King of the universe camped among them.

But Balaam’s prophecy looked far ahead to the  time of the end, when people would utter in astonishment of these people, “What is God doing through them”? In the last days God will make Israel to be like a lion , ferocious and insatiable, she will not be content until she devours and drinks the blood of her enemies. As Zechariah prophesied also centuries later,

In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.  The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.  In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.(Zechariah 12:6-9)

 
Posted in Balaam and The End, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Balaam’s First Word; The Uniqueness Of Israel…Balaam pt 6

. And he went to an high place. And God met Balaam: and he said unto him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram. And the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak. And he returned unto him …  And he took up his parable, and said,

Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram,out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel.  How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied?  For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.  Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!(Numbers 23:1-11)

Finally the delegation came from the Euphrates. Balaam had agreed to come with them to see how he could be of service to King Balak. Certainly the LORD had already forbade him to go with them once, but upon praying a second time, had he not given Balaam permission? Perhaps the LORD, the God of this people would also relent on the other prohibition; not to curse Israel.

Balaam had done his homework. He knew that Israel’s deity required burnt sacrifices, of rams and bullocks, and that he favored the number seven.

And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams. And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; … And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the Lord will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee…

The Pagan prophet then set out to do what he perceived his craft required, he went to a high place to seek for auguries, signs and portents about what the intention of this God was for this people. Perhaps he would see a sign or be put into a trance, or have a vision.Who could know how long it would take? The various national gods could be capricious.

But he must have been stunned when immediately he was met by the LORD himself, and given the Word to speak to Balak concerning the bleak prospects of successfully cursing Israel.

How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I defy whom God has not defied?

It would be the height of arrogance for any frail human being to dare pronounce a curse on anyone, let alone anyone whom God has not cursed. Can Israel be withstood successfully? How ? If God is with them who could possibly stand against them?

For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.  

Who are these people? This recently redeemed slave nation? What are they doing wandering in the harsh desert ? How are they sustained?  As Balaam looked down on this strange spectacle, of a huge camp, surrounding a tremendous pillar of cloud, The Word of the Lord revealed that this is a unique people, “Behold the people shall dwell alone… “.

This is a nation unlike any other, and never able to completely integrate into the “community of nations”. There can be a RED CROSS and even a RED CRESCENT, but there will never be a RED MOGEN DAVID, because Israel is not allowed to.

Every nation gets a vote in the U.N.. but Israel, all can serve on the security council but she. Every nation on earth picks where it’s capital city shall be, and the rest of the world observes it, but in the case of Israel, not so. Every American president since Eisenhower has promised to move our embassy to Jerusalem, only to fail to do so.

Israel shall not reckoned among the nations, because by God’s election, she is unique. Balaam saw this and prophesied of it.

Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel?

There will be no obliteration of this nation, she will one day number as the dust, or as “the sands of the sea…” according to the Word given to Abraham, (Father of a multitude).

Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

Curse them? Are you kidding? If I (Balaam) could but die the death of this people I would consider myself fortunate! To be able to die knowing you have been made right with God? This is worth more than all of the treasures and honors paganism could ever confer.

This is the first prophecy of Balaam over Israel. The pagan prophet opened his mouth thinking perhaps he could curse them, (after all the LORD had relented about going with them hadn’t he?). But instead Balaam could only bless them, and in the highest terms, by the Spirit of prophecy.

Needless to say this infuriated the pagan King. What good is a prophet, if he doesn’t say what you want him to say? What good is a “god” if he can’t be manipulated and used for your own ends?

Like the many who follow the false prophets in our day, both Balaam and Balak held to a pagan notion of God. “God” exists for man. It is for man to learn the ways of “God” so that he might harness this power to use for the good of all. I once saw a million selling “christian book” called “God’s Creative Power Can Work For You!”. This is not christian, but Pagan.

And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether. And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the Lord hath put in my mouth?

Balaam however, had already seen something of the power, majesty and sovereignty of this God, and knew, that he could only say what this God wanted him to say. The ASS incident had taught him that this was a God to be afraid of.

But who knows, maybe we can make” it work” from another mountain?

Posted in Balaam and The End, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Where We (the church) Are In This Story … Balaam pt 5

And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay. Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.(Numbers 22:23-32)

Balaam the pagan prophet, was determined to find a way to gain the honors and rewards he was offered by the King of Moab, for the task of cursing Israel. But the LORD had expressly forbade him to go with them on the 400 mile journey from the Euphrates river to the Jordan. The LORD had also revealed to Balaam, that because he had blessed Israel, Balaam should not curse them.

But when the delegation returned with even greater wealth and honors, Balaam prayed again about whether he should go. This time the LORD told him to go with them, but his wrath burnt against the eager and ambitious prophet. But Balaam was oblivious to this fact.

So we have a grand procession , escorting the pagan prophet with riches and honor to Israel. Each one in the procession were drawn to the Holy Land by their own ambitions, as was Balaam.

For some it was a matter of pleasing the Arab King. For others it was excitement and wonder at the power of the celebrated, false prophet. Others in the procession wanted to curry favor with the King and perhaps attain riches and honor. Some just wanted to look good, and be part of something significant. Others hated Israel, without even knowing why and wanted to wipe them out.

Closer and closer the procession pressed on. None of them had any idea that really they were drawing ever closer to disastrous judgment, and death! Except one…the Ass.

At one point, Balaam’s ass turned off of the path and strayed out into a field. Balaam struck the ass to force it back onto the road. Later, as the delegation passed between the stone walls lining a section of the road, Balaam’s ass veered sharply, grinding Balaam’s foot against the wall, hurting it. This time the act was met with a rain of blows from the peeved Seer. Finally at another narrow pass, the Ass simply laid down on the road, refusing to move. This time Balaam struck the ass in a rage, with his staff.

It was then that the Lord opened the beasts mouth,

And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.

Furthermore the LORD who opened the ass’s mouth, also opened the “seer’s” eyes to see the mortal danger he was in, but which the ass delivered him from. Had the Ass passed on down the road, Balaam would have been smitten by the angel, and would have perished forever.

Now Balaam could see what the Ass saw all along. Evidently the “seer” couldn’t really see as well as the Canaanite delegation thought he could. Furthermore, by this incident the LORD showed the Pagan prophet that even an Ass could speak the Word God put in his mouth. This should have been a sign to Balaam, pointing to the sovereignty of the God he was now “dealing with”.

Furthermore, this incident would be a sign to Balak also. As the Prophet tried to cajole, curse and strike the Ass into doing what would prove to be fatal to himself, even so Balak would attempt to bribe, berate and threaten Balaam to do what would prove to be His own undoing.

Where are we, the church in this story?

Consider, that at the end of the world, all of the nations of the World are drawn, as this procession was, from Babylon to Israel, in order to curse (annihilate) Israel. Each one in thee procession has their own reasons and ambitions to fulfill. The Kings of the earth are uniting to fulfill what they think is a world uniting task. They are drawn like a magnet to the Middle East, and to Israel.

Some of them want world peace, some want world unity, some want to appease the Arabs and solve the pesky Middle East problem. Some want power and prestige. The Pope is among them, He wants the Catholic Church to be a world power again.  But they have no real idea of the utter danger they face, and that they are drawing into a vortex of judgment and wrath!

There is only one person in the whole procession who sees where all of this is going and who doesn’t want to be drug along into it…the church of Jesus Christ. We are like that Ass, we see what is coming but who would listen to us? When we speak up, we are beaten back down.

the lowliest christian believer in any church anywhere on earth, which teaches Bible Prophecy, has more insight into the world situation, than all of the pundits,experts, talking heads and world leaders put together…but who will listen to an Ass?

 

Posted in Balaam and The End, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments