Daily Thought for: 8th March
BALAAM: HIS COUNSEL
Numbers 25. 1-6; 31. 1-8, 15-16; Revelation 2. 14
The counsel and doctrine of Balaam refer to the advice and ideas he gave
to Balak, which led to Moabite and Midianite women seducing some of the
men of Israel, who succumbed all too readily to immorality and idolatry,
1 Cor. 10. 8. What prompted Balaams counsel?
He had not been able to turn Jehovah away from Israel and curse them, so they would be destroyed; they are Gods indestructible people; cf. Jer. 31. 35-38. So he tried to turn Israel away from God, for they were not incorruptible. Where his prophesying failed, his counsel succeeded. Later, Israel and Judah would be defeated by the Assyrians and Babylonians because of sin within.
In New Testament times, Satan as a roaring lion tries to destroy the church but fails, for the church is indestructible, Acts 8. 1-3; 12. 1-2; cf. Matt. 16. 18. But he changes his strategy and, as an angel of light, tries to corrupt the church and succeeds in measure. 1 Peter deals with a suffering church, 2 Peter with a church in danger of deception by false teachers, of which Balaam is an example; cf. 1 Pet. 5. 8; 2 Pet. 2. 1, 15-16. Similarly, in Revelation 2, the church at Smyrna suffers persecution, but there is only praise from the Lord; the next church at Pergamos, however, is exposed to corruption from those who hold the doctrine of Balaam. Constantines patronage did what Diocletians persecution could not do (IRONSIDE).
Satan tried to destroy the Lord Jesus at His birth; he failed. Years later, in the wilderness, he tried to corrupt Him; he failed again. So he reverted to his original strategyto destroy Jesus, Matt. 12. 14; 27. 20, but the resurrection confounds him and seals his doom. The Lord Jesus is both indestructible and incorruptible.
Satan uses men like Balaam. Their words are fair, but self-interest is their motive. They lead people from the truth, truth they have rejected, 2 Pet. 2. 19-22. Ahithophel is another example. So are religious leaders who deny basic truths of the gospel, such as the bodily resurrection of Jesus and justification by His blood. Balaam received not the love of the truth, believed it not, and had pleasure in unrighteousness, 2 Thess. 2. 10-12.