Reading through the Bible together

Sunday, September 2, 2012

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There are many lessons in this chapter. Balaam was once a good man and a prophet of God, but “Balaam loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2 Peter 2:15). Balaam loved money, and through the sin of covetousness, Satan had gained control of him. When Balak, the king of Moab, sent the princes to ask Balaam to curse Israel, Balaam knew that God did not want him to do that. However, since it was contrary to his personal desires, he set God’s will aside - yet he presumed to go to God to ask Him what to do. Balaam chose his own course, and then endeavored to secure the approval of the Lord. Many today do the same. They know their duty, but it’s contrary to their wishes. They know God’s Word, and yet presume to pray earnestly for light. They rush on forbidden paths and, like Balaam with his donkey, become angry at those who want to prevent their ruin.

 

Balaam showed what spirit controlled him by his treatment of his animal. “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (Proverbs 12:10). Many people today don’t realize the sinfulness of abusing animals. A disposition to cause pain, whether to our fellow men or to an animal, is satanic. If their eyes could be opened like Balaam’s, they would see the angel of God standing as a witness.

 

Balaam was so anxious to obtain his prize that even when his animal spoke, he didn’t stop to consider the source. God’s mercy toward Balaam is evidenced all through this story. Even when Balaam refused God’s original plan for him, God didn’t abandon Balaam, but worked with a backup plan. God is forever working in our lives. Even when we make a mistake and fail to follow God’s plan for our lives, He doesn’t abandon us, but produces Plan B…or C. Praise God for His patience and mercy.

 

Nancy Costa

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