BALAAM (Part 7 of 7)

  1. The End of Balaam 

How did Balaam end?  Shamefully.  As if God had not killed the Israelites enough through his treachery, Balaam physically joined the army of Midian to fight against the people of God; from a lesser error to a greater evil.  His fees were beginning to intoxicate him.  He died in that battle.  He never lived long enough to enjoy his wicked wages.  He had carried the grace of God to a different altar than it had been designed for.  He had taken grace too far for granted.  He was killed by those he sought to kill.  He joined the kings of God’s enemies, in battle against Israel (Numbers 31:8).  Probably considering himself also as some kind of a ‘king’ of God, when those kings went to war, he went with them: His Royal Eminence, Mighty International Prophet Balaam, the man who sees with his eyes open.  Obituary.  Sunset.  Grace expired.  He didn’t live another day to prophesy (or sorcery-fy) his next lie.

And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword (Numbers 31: 8).

Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them (Joshua 13:22).

Whom Joshua’s army slew was not a prophet but a sorcerer.  They slew him not in the sanctuary of God but in the battlefield along with enemies of God.  His blood upon his head.

What was the prophet doing in the company of those wicked kings?  Did he so arrogantly think himself as equally a spiritual ‘king’ as they were the natural kings of men, to the point of joining their ‘International League of Kings’ in their battle against God?  What was the prophet doing in their military campaign?  Was he there as ‘spiritual adviser’?  Had he become so desperate for his clients that he would strive to achieve by the physical sword what he had been unable to accomplish through his many altars and desperate curses?

Alas, Balaam perished with those he followed, swallowed by what swallowed them.  He had much admired those oblivious Israelites, praying that his end would be as glorious as theirs (Numbers 23:10).  Sadly, that prayer was never to be answered, or he did not fulfil the lifestyle conditions for the prayer to be answered.  He perished with the haters of God for whom he served.  He perished with those noble patrons that usually rented his prophecies.

Whom the army of Israel killed in battle was not a prophet but a sorcerer.  They killed him not at his altar but in battle.  His polluted blood forever upon his greedy head.

In the prologue of his episode, Balaam was a mighty prophet; in the epilogue, he had shamefully degenerated into a “soothsayer.”  He started as a prophet, but ended as a sorcerer.  When, where, how did the straying start?

How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle … Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph … How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished! (2 Samuel 1:20, 25, 27).

  1. A Prayer 

O Lord, in this season, may the sword of judgment locate greedy lofty Balaams who are bent on selling Your people for their selfish gains.  Like Judas Iscariot and Balaam the sorcerer, may they not live to enjoy their price of innocent blood.  Amen.

O Lord, such as would hear and repent, may You save their souls, but those that be stubborn and rebellious, who would greedily sell an entire nation for their cursed pot of pottage, may their necks be broken suddenly, and that without remedy (Proverbs 29:1).

O Lord, to You we commit our feeble feet in these paths where stronger legs had been swayed.  Guide us through trying days, that none who sincerely has started as prophet ends as a sorcerer, like Balaam the Mad Prophet.  Rather, like Elijah, may our hallowed voices that so long have stood strong against the altars of Baal, against the compromised thrones of Ahab, against seducing Jezebels, be stronger still, until the chariots of fire from heaven come for the swift parting, with mantles of power falling down to faithful waiting sons that have a Jordan still to cross.  Amen.

From The Preacher’s diary,
January 18, 2023. 

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