The Scarlet Thread – Balaam


1.  Background of where we are tonight

  1. Numbers is the story of Israels 40 years in the wilderness
  2. By Numbers 22, they are almost at the end of their wilderness experience
  3. They are starting to encounter different countries that they are going to have to conquer to possess the land
  1. Edom = they do not go to war against or enter their land because Edom is the land of Esau and God is blessing this son of Isaac
  2. They defeat the king of Arad (Numbers 21: 1 – 3)
  3. They defeat the king Sihon the king of the Amorites. (Numbers 21: 21 – 25
  4. They come upon king Balak of Moab and he is no dummy
    1. He sees that they have defeated other kings
    2. He knows that they have defeated Egypt
    3. He knows he cannot defeat them on his own
    4. He is going to need supernatural help to defeat the Israelites so he is going to summon a prophet to come and put a curse on them.
    5. He did not have to worry, Israel was only passing through on their way to the promised land and the people they defeated made war against them.

2. Who was Balaam?

  1. A prophet with a reputation for putting curses and blessings on others
    1. If what he spoke did not have any value, then why would a king offer a lot of money for his help
  2. He is not a believer, but we do know that God speaks to him and he recognizes his voice.
    1. We don’t have any history to this man but his reputation is out there.

3. The Price

  1. Balak sends dignitaries to Balaam with money (Fees of divination which ere common for asking something from a seer 1 Samuel 9: 7)
  2. They share the message from king Balak Numbers 22: 7 – 13
  3. Balaam tells them to stay the night as he goes to ask God what he should do about this situation
  4. God tells Baalam pretty plainly “Do not go with them.  You are not to curse these people for they have been blessed” Vs 12
  1. You can’t get any clearer than that. Don’t go with them

 

  1. Balaam tells them to go away because he cannot curse them Vs13
  2. Balak sends another party to Balaam
  3. More distinguished officials Vs 15
  4. Who are willing to pay you very well Vs 17
  5. Why would he send another party after Balaam refused to go with them?

 

  1. Look at his answer again.  The Lord refused to let me go with you.
    1. He should have said, go away I am not coming, but he let them know that he wanted to come out and play, but God wouldn’t let him.
    2. He wanted that fee of divination.
    3. If our no to sin is not firm, then the roaring lion (satan) will come back with a better offer to make us compromise
      1. It doesn’t have to be sin, it can be a husband, wife, job, car anything God says no to, but we still want so we look for a loophole to get it and still obey God.
  1. Key Though here, “What is Your Price?”
  2. Balak know he had a price so he sent more money and more distinguished people.
  3. Is there a point when we are no longer willing to obey God?

4. What Else God has to say. Vs 19

  1. Balaam tells the dignitaries that he is powerless to do anything against the Lord, but he will go and pray again.
  2. When God already says no, we should not keep seeking him about a situation that is in front of us.
  3. So many are always telling others about what God tells them to do and they are always using God as an excuse for everything we do
    1. God already said no and sometimes the decisions we make are already in the Bible
    2. Sometimes we are just listening to our own desires and don’t really have any patience to wait on God
    3. Sometimes we have an incredible prayer life and it puts us in a position where we are never wrong with hearing form God and ego can come in.
  4. God says to with them. Vs 20
    1. Be careful when God changes his mind.
    2. Now he did with Abraham when he told him to sacrifice His son, but there was a motive behind it, “to see if Abraham really trusted God” (Genesis 22: 2 – 12)
  5. Why would God change his mind? He is going to kill him for his disobedience.
    1. God allowed what Balaam wanted so he could punish him and let the consequences of his actions take root.

5. The donkey Conversation 21 – 41

  1. Balaam is riding with the princes of Moab probably counting his money and spending it in his head.
  2. His donkey starts acting up and embarrassing him in front of these people.
  3. Balaam beats the donkey until the donkey answers him. Vs 28
  4. Balaam is so mad, he answers the donkey Vs 29
  5. The donkey responds and Balaam answers again. Vs 30
  6. God opens Salaams eyes and he sees an angel with a sword that was going to kill him. Vs 31
  7. Read Balaam’s prayer Vs 34  what is wrong with it?
    1. If you don’t want me to go.  God already said no and then sent an angel to kill him, now he is asking “If you don’t want me to go, I won’t go”
  8. We make it a big deal for the things we have given up to follow God.  “I could have been such and such, but God wouldn’t let me.

6. Lip Service Numbers 23, 24

  1. I will only speak what God puts in my mouth. 22: 38
  2. The idea is Balaam wanted to curse Israel, but God hanged the curse into a blessing.
  3. Blessings are just lip service for Balaam.
  4. Balak takes his to different hills to see different parts of the camp and each time a blessing comes out.
    1. This shows the size of the camp of Israel. It could not be seen from one vantage point.

7. Balaam goes home and we are all good. 24: 25

  1. When you want something, there is always a way to get it.
  2. The very next verse prostitutes from Moab come into the camp and seduce Israel to worship Baal.
  3. This idea came from Balaam.  If I can’t curse Israel, they can bring a curse on themselves by living immoral lives.
  4. See Revelation 2: 14 and Numbers 31: 15 – 16
  5. Balaam should have learned God’s heart for Israel but he was consumed with money and temporary things which ended up costing him his own life.
  6. Israel kills Balaam Numbers 31: 8 so he enjoyed the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11: 25)
  7. God give us hearts of instant obedience