Balaam, a castaway

Joshua 13:22
Balaam, the son of Beor, did the children of slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.” This is a very sad and brief statement about Balaam, but it is a true statement.

Balaam, who once declared the Word and will of God is found slain among His enemies. Balaam is striking example of the “withered branch” that is recorded in (Jh,15:6) “\If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.“

It is possible to have the form of godliness while there is an utter absence of the power, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (II.Tim.3:5).

The character of Balsam is warning to all of us that we can fall short of the glory of God and lose our walk with the Lord.

Let us take a close look at Balaam’s Character. He was brought into contact with God according to (Num. 22, 23, 24). What an angelic privilege to have God to speak to us, and to know that it is God who speaks ! Not ever voice that speaks to us is the Lord, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (I.Jh.4:1).

How many of us hear the Lord’ Word and believe it to be His Word, yet how many of us fail in obedience to it.

Balaam had the courage to acknowledge God before men, “Balaam said, The Word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak” (Num. 22: 38). This is a hopeful start on the prophet’s progress, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Gal. 5:7). “Remember Lot’s wife.”

He had the word of the Lord put in his mouth (Num. 23: 5). In this he was as highly favored, “But what saith it ? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart, that is, the Word of faith which we preach” (Rom. 10: 8).

To have the Word of God put in our mouths when we were young is good, but that is not enough to make faithful servants of Christ.

He was convinced of the safety and happiness of God’s people according to (Num. 23: 21,24). Balaam‘s testimony is “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, the Lord his God is with him, and there is no enchantment against him.” Indicating a threefold privilege that belongs to all His redeemed ones: (a) Forgiveness (b) Fellowship (c) Safety. Note (Rom.4:7) “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”

He had his eyes opened to see the vision. He saw the vision of the Almighty, his eyes was open” (Num. 24:3 4). To have one’s eyes open to see the vision of the Almighty in His wondrous grace and mercy in Christ Jesus is imperative to a holy God-pleasing life, “Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” (Jh.14:9).

There are those who seek to witness for God who have never seen the vision, whose inner eyes have never yet been opened and there are those who, like Balaam, have seen the vision, and have turned back.

It is an awful thing to see God in Christ and die a sinner. (Jh.8:24) “ I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

He declared his faithfulness, “I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord to do either good or bad, but what the Lord saith, that will I speak” (Num. 24;13).

These words have a very pleasant sound in our ears, coming as they do after seeing the “vision of the Almighty, note what Isaiah said in (Isa.6:8).”Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

They were spoken in a firm, decisive tone. “If Balak,” he says, “would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the Word of God.”

Peter has a fearful comment to make on this loud-lip profession. “Balaam, who loved the wages of unrighteousness“ (II. Pet. 2:15), not every one that saith Lord Lord shall enter into the kingdom.

He was at times moved by the Spirit of God, “The Spirit of God came upon him” (Num. 24:2). Is Balsam also among the prophets? Yes. For a time the tongue of prophetic fire rests upon him, and he speaks the Word God.

The Spirit came upon him, as upon others, it was entirely of the grace of God, an opportunity and a provision brought within the reach of a soul that may enrich the life for ever, or that may be keartlessly received, and end in failure, darkness, disappointment and disgrace.

He had a great desire to to die The death of the righteous,“Let me die the death of the righteous”, (Num. 23:10). “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.” (Rev. 14. 13).

In the sight of the Lord their death is precious according to (Psa.116:15).

He desired the blessed end of the righteous without living a righteous life. A vain hope. Balaam was  slain among the enemies of the Lord (Josh.13: 22). Take heed to thyself.

Let us take a look at Balaam His Guilt and Failure. vHe sought to alter the Word of God. The Lord afterwards declared that “He would not hearken unto Balaam.” (Josh. 24: 9). It would appear from this that he pleaded with the Lord to change His manner of dealing with Israel, and so break His Word of promise,

The backsliding in heart would always gladly do this.

Balaam loved the wages of unrighteousness (II. Pet.2:15).

Like Lot’s wife, he would like the rewards of the righteous, but his heart was set on the gain of godlessness.

The love of the heart decides the character of the life in the sight of God. Be not deceived, God is not mocked.

The Lord looketh upon the heart, love is either the fulfilling or the breaking of the law of God.

He taught the people of God to sin. (Num.31:16). This is an awfully solemn charge to bring against a man whose eyes had been opened to see the vision of the Almighty, but it is the Almighty One Himself who makes the charge. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

If we fail to walk in the light, and turn aside, like Balaam, to the company and fellowship of the ungodly we cannot but “cast a stumbling block” in the way of others, and bring woe upon our own souls.

He went back to his own place “And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his own place” (Num. 24: 25).

If he had gone out heartily for God and His people he would have had no cause or desire to go back.

To turn away from God is to go back to your own place of death and dishonour (Heb.6: 4,6).

Balaam came to a woeful end ’’Balaam also did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them” (Josh.13:22).

In going back to his own place he dug his own grave and sealed his own doom, “That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” (Ac.1:25).

The love of the world is a sin that will eat like a pestilence the spiritual life out of the soul.

It was not without good reason Paul wrote: “I keep my body under, lest by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Cor. 9: 27).

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