Balak Summons Balaam Israel is camped in the plains of Moab near Jericho. Moab was in “great dread” because of the strength and numbers of Israel Balak, son of Zippor, the King of Moab summoned Balaam, to bring a curse upon Israel Balaam is a mysterious figure, maybe a priest or prophet – his background is uncertain.
Balak Summons Balaam The elders of both Midian and Moab attempt to hire Balaam (22:7) Balaam waits for a world from the LORD (22:8) Balaam and the LORD speak to one another “Who are these men with?...You shall not go with them. You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed”…so Balaam said to the elders, “Go to your own land, for the Lord has refused to me go with you.”
Balak Summons Balaam Balak won’t take no for an answer He sends more honorable princes to persuade Balaam – NOTE: About 350 mile journey. Their message to Balaam was this, “let nothing hinder you from coming to me, for I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Come, curse this people for me.” Balaam’s response to this request is telling about his conversation with YAHWEH…
Balak Summons Balaam Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the LORD my God to do less or more.” And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.” So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princess of Moab.
Balaam’s Greed Balaam tells the “princes” give me the night to discern God’s will, but “why” he already had clear instructions from God. The offer of a greater reward was a huge temptation that led Balaam to experience a little bit of God’s anger. God already told Balaam what to do, so God, decides to TEST him and teach him a lesson.
God’s anger was kindled against Balaam because he went with the “princes” The Angel of the LORD appears before the donkey with a “sword drawn in hand” 3x the angel appears and the donkey attempts to turn back or go a different direction, but Balaam won’t allow the donkey to. On the final appearance the donkey “laid down in the path.”
Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his drawn sword in hand. He bowed down and fell on his face…the donkey saw me and turned aside because I would have killed you and let her live.
Balaam’s Confession I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” The angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word I tell you.”
Seven Altars Built by Balak Build for me here seven altars, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams Stand beside your offer and whatever the LORD shows me I will share with you. And the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth.
4 ORACLES FROM GOD An oracle is a prophetic word from God used throughout the OT. Each oracle presents new evidence that God’s favor rested upon ISRAEL Each oracle includes a blessing that builds with a climax of thought as Balaam brings judgment upon Balak. These blessing of Israel makes a mockery of Balak’s sinister intentions.
Oracle #1 – (Numbers 23:7-10) Balak brought me here to curse Israel But how can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce what God has not Israel is separate, unique, and mighty God has made the seed of Abraham into a great multitude (Numbers 23:10) Balak’s response – what have you done to me. You blessed my enemies instead of curse!
Oracle #2 – (Numbers 23:18-24) God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. He has said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? God gave me a command to bless Israel and I will do it. God is with Israel, he brought them out of Egypt, no curse is against them. Balak – at least stop blessing them
When Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not go with Balak, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness, And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel…and the Spirit of God came upon him.
Oracle #3 – (Numbers 24:3 - 9) God has opened Balaam’s eyes to all truth Israel is blessed and lovely They are mighty and strong before the LORD God brought them out of Egypt and he will give them victory over his adversaries and he shall break their bones into pieces. Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you. Balak – he is angry, he tells Balaam to go home.
Oracle #4 – (Numbers 24:15 -24) God has opened Balaam’s eyes to all truth This oracle deals with future events in the history of Israel Messianic prophesy taking place in 24:17 Moab will be crushed Edom will be destroyed One from Jacob shall exercise dominion and destroy the survivors of the cities! Balak – goes home empty handed.