BALAAM (Part 3 of 7) 

  1. The Witnesses of God 

As Balaam set out on his journey with King Balak’s delegation, God was angry, ready to kill the greedy preacher.  All the same, grace gave him one more chance, in case he hadn’t heard clearly enough.  There would be a witness this time, any available witness, even if it was a beast.  God found the prophet’s dumb donkey as first line, and an angel of death next, in case all the ‘warning’ road signs failed (Numbers 23:22-35).  

How could a seeing prophet have been so blind as not to see his own death that seemed so plain even to donkeys?  Hmm, prophets don’t always see everything.  And when greed has entered the matter, great prophets could be blinder than beasts.

  1.  The Blind Prophet 

Balaam prided himself as “the man whose eyes are open.”  That was his recurrent title; it was like the name of his ministry (Numbers 24:3, 4, 15, 16).  He saw visions without stress.  God’s presence was easy access (Numbers 23:4-5, 16).   In ministry, he was effortlessly dual-mode, seeing into the supernatural realm with his natural eyes open.  You could stand before him and, while seeing your three-piece suit with the natural eyes, he would say, “I see you in 2015 at Buckingham Palace…,” and he would be very accurate in his time-travel into your past and future.   Unfortunately, when death stood in the way of that greedy preacher, his famed seeing eyes couldn’t see it.  “Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw…” (Numbers 22:31).

If “then” was when God opened his eyes, it would mean that until “then” the seeing prophet, who prided himself so, had been blind.  Who blinded him?  Nobody.  What blinded him?  Greed.  Greed is a blinder (Deuteronomy 16:19).  In the case of Balaam, it was tragic.  His present condition had become a contradiction to his title and the name of his ‘church.’  He was still very full of activities and high-profile appointments, but the present was a gradual shift from his past.  Balaam couldn’t see as clearly as before, yet he was on a great international prophetic mission.  However, mercy spoke and opened the eyes when it mattered so much.

May Mercy speak again, O Lord.  May Mercy speak once more.  Amen.

  1. The Wages of Unrighteousness 

Of this great prophet, the Scripture says, “Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2 Peter 2:15).  When it came to ‘wages,’ righteousness was not a condition.  Money was money, no matter how it came, from whomever it came.  The filthier, the better for the Baalish Balaam, because his altar sanctified every gift, or so it was believed.

Mark you, it was called “wages,” which means payment for service.  In other words, in the prophetic ‘order’ of Balaam, nothing is freely given, even if freely received.  Prophecies are priced, prayers are negotiated, and consultations ‘one-on-one’ are fee-ed.  The higher the bid, the bigger the prophetic service or product: holy prayer, holy water, holy oil, a holy bath, holy mantles and aprons, and holy kisses for those who would pay in kind, in sanctified dark sanctuaries where lust is the lord.

It was Saint Peter who called it “wages,” not Prophet Balaam himself who might have preferred such holier terms as “seed faith,” “battle seed,” “prophet’s offering,” “anointing connection seed” (like a plumber), “tapping the anointing,” and other such ‘prophetic’ tags.  Did I miss one?

  1. The Speed of Greed 

Something more about Balaamites is their speed in greed.  Like Gehazi the servant of Prophet Elisha, who on foot could overtake an army general in his chariot (2 Kings 5:21), of these also it is reported by Jude, that they “ran greedily.”  They often run, but out of greed.  Their speed and apparent zeal are dictated by their greed, by what they can get, not what they would give.   Whenever you see them running, there must be something in it for them.  They don’t run for nothing.  They don’t pray for nothing. They don’t prophesy for nothing.  They don’t keep connections for nothing.  For Balaam, the goal in ministry was material reward, no matter how loudly he screamed the name of God while he did his rites.

“Greed” says much more than “wages.”  Wages could be just a pay more, for a service rendered, but greed speaks of much worse; of an insatiable uncanny appetite; always wanting more: more money, more cars, more land, more shoes, a larger wardrobe than the Balaam next door.  In Nigerian pidgin parlance, they call it having a ‘big eye.’  A kind of addiction to money, whether service was truly rendered or not.  So, a new name has to be found often for the next prophetic toll gate.  The Psalmist says, “the steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD” (Psalm 37:23).  Balaam’s steps were also ordered; not by the Lord, but by political lords and their baited fat wages (Numbers 22:21).

Every speed in church is not after God.  Very well then did Paul warn himself and others, not once but twice: “lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain” (Galatians 2:2O).  And in Philippians 2:16: “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

Not all speed in church will be rewarded.  God is not in every hurry.  Some speed might impress us humans, but not the all-seeing Master.   Even at the Olympics, not every sweating runner gets a prize.  The cameras sometimes are called to testify, that a very fast runner had merely “run in vain.”

 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things (Philippians 3:19).

  1.  A Prophet for Hire 

In some cities, if you arrived without a car, you could rent a car, right from the airport, drive it around town or to other cities, or even to a different country, then return it to an appropriate place when you are done.   In many places, you could hire a hotel room, tumble in the bath as much as you liked, then pay your bills and be gone.   In some cities, there are also whores for hire.  Like those, there are also prophets for hire.  According to Deuteronomy 23:4, Balaam was one, who was available to be “hired.

If Balaam was a hireable prophet, then his fees dictated his ways, like a prostitute who followed a client not because they loved them, but because they hoped for the fee.  Balaam was a prostitute prophet.

When it is considered that in his later days Prophet Balaam retrogressed into soothsaying; when it is considered that in Malachi 3:5 and Revelation 22:15 sorcerers are listed with whoremongers and adulterers and idolaters; when it is considered further that Hosea 4:12 speaks of sorcery as “the spirit of whoredoms,” which leads into error, we may appreciate the deepness of Balaam’s decline, into spiritual prostitution.  Like a prostitute, Balaam didn’t care who hired him, so far as the pay was fine.   Clients rented his prophecies, hired him to curse their enemies, took him about from place to place. (I wonder what he did when mutual enemies hired him against each other.)

“The LORD is my shepherd,” said the Psalmist (Psalm 23:1).  “Follow me, and I will make you,” said the Master to the disciples (Matthew 4:19).  In the case of Balaam, it seemed different.  His wages determined his way.  He followed his hirers.  “And Balak said unto Balaam, Come…” (Numbers 23:13, 27).  Since when did political leaders begin to give directions to prophets?  Ask Balaam.

  1.  The Bloody Prophet 

Balaam could be ruthless when properly hired.  As Consultant and ‘spiritual adviser’ to King Balak, despite God’s stern disapprovals, he taught his client to bait his girls and gods against the Israelites.  That hellish stratagem cost the Israelites 24,000 lives (Numbers 25:1-9).  Balaam didn’t seem to care, so far as he got his pay.  Through his partnership with Balak, thousands of women suddenly became widows, thousands of children suddenly became orphans, and thousands more became childless and homeless.  So much tears and blood did not matter to Balaam so far he got his share of Balak’s silver and gold.  And he was a prophet of God.  His kind has not been uncommon in very generation.

If Balaam was an Edomite, descendant of Esau the brother of Jacob the father of the Israelites; if God called the Edomites the “brethren” of the Israelites, whom the Israelites should not harm (Deuteronomy 2: 4); if, despite that, Balaam allowed himself to be hired against his own brethren; if, according to 1 John 2:9 and 3:19, whoever hates his brother “is in darkness” and “is a murderer,” then Balaam became a bloody murderer in darkness when he let himself be hired against his own brethren.  Still he bore the noble title of Prophet!

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us (1 John 2:19).

From The Preacher’s diary,
January 18, 2023.
(to be continued)

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