If Balaam had stopped with his visions from God, he would have been safe; but he wanted the money and honor Balak promised, so he told the king how to defeat Israel. His plan was simple. Invite the Jews to share in the heathen sacrificial feasts and corrupt them. The feasts of Baal were terribly wicked, and Balaam knew that the Jewish men would be tempted to join with the Moabite women. This is exactly what happened. In fact, one Israelite was bold enough to bring a Midianite woman home right in the sight of Moses. What the armies of the other nations could not do, the women of Moab and Midian were doing. There is a lesson here for each of us. If Satan cannot overcome God's people as a lion (I Peter 5:8), then he comes as a serpent. We should always beware of the friendliness of God's enemies; for their smiles, snares, and gifts could bring us to destruction. Balaam's one mistake (mentioned in Jude 11) was that he thought Israel's sins would destroy the nation.
Revelation 2:14 mentions the doctrine of Balaam. This doctrine is compromise. Christians today must deal with this doctrine. We must never forget that our calling is to be separate--never joining with the world, for joining with the world can only mean judgment and ruin.
Balaam was successful to a degree, but he did not understand the grace of God. God did not leave or forsake the children of Israel. He did punish and chastise their sin, but because of His marvelous and matchless grace, He will never leave or forsake His own. Though we may fall and go astray, God wants us to turn to Him in sincere repentance, so that we might again be cleansed and fit for fellowship and serve for our Lord. There will be many Balaks and Balaams in our Christian life. Our only fight against them is to put on the whole armour of God, that we may be able to withstand the wiles and temptations of the devil (Ephesians 6).
Index of Daily Devotions