Numbers 23-25, Mark 7:14-37 • Key Verse: Numbers 25:3
The opening verses of Numbers 25 describe a scene of immorality, idolatry and judgment, When
the entire story is known, the scene is even sadder than it appears.
Earlier, Balak had sought to hire Balaam to curse Israel. When initially rebuffed, Balak upped
the ante and made the offer too good to refuse. He tried, but Balaam could not curse those whom
God had determined to bless.
But Balaam still wanted the gold. If he could not get it by cursing, he would try to get it by
counseling. He counseled Balak to entice Israel to immorality and idolatry (Num. 31:16). Then
they would bring God’s judgment on themselves. By so doing, Balaam accomplished the task for
which he was hired.
Balaams "epitaph” in the New Testament is that he “loved the wages of wickedness” (2 Pet.
2:15). He went for the gold and is remembered for it. In Jude 11 there is another New Testament
reference to Balaam. Jude writes of those who “have rushed for profit into Balaams error.”
The error of Balaam continues today.
A person may not be hired to curse another, but the willingness to put personal gain over others
remains. The world places its emphasis on getting. The Christians worldview should emphasize
giving. Do not follow the way of Balaam.
How important are material things to you? Don’t let possessions distort your values. Some
things are not worth the cost—a lesson Balaam did not learn.
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett