Summary: God shows up in the most unlikely of places, use the most unlikely of persons, to do the most powerful things.
10 Amazing Miracles From Scripture (4 of 10)
Balaam’s Donkey: A Donkey Says “What?”
October 25, 2015 CFBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A Israel had been delivered by God’s man, Moses, from the grip of Pharaoh, safely taken the Red Sea that would crush Egypt’s Army (which is next week’s message).
1 The main story of Balaam occurs during the sojourn of the Israelites in the plains of Moab, east of the Jordan River, at the close of forty years of wandering, shortly before the death of Moses and the crossing the Jordan River into Canaan.
a Except for Israel’s clash with the Amelekites & Canaanites (Num. 14.43-45 NASB) 43"For the Amalekites and the Canaanites will be there in front of you, and you will fall by the sword, inasmuch as you have turned back from following the LORD. And the LORD will not be with you." 44 But they went up heedlessly to the ridge of the hill country; neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses left the camp.45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down, and struck them and beat them down as far as Hormah.” the armies of the Son’s of Israel had kicked the fire out of every army they had faught (Amelek, The king of Arad, the Amorites, the forces of Og, King of Bashan.) (Balaam Map JPEG)
aa When they arrived at the plains of Moab they faced a very different kind of enemy: The Moabites/Midianites were in an unholy alliance with the devil.
bb They were pagans who would call out to the evil one to assist them in battle.
cc We find the Armies of Israel at their front door.
b A man named Balak is the king of the Moabites.
aa Israel was hitting well, pitchers were on fire, noone was on the DL, young team, good coaching staff.
bb He seeks to hire a man named Balaam to come and cast a curse on the Israelites before they fight them.
c Balak tries two times to hire Balaam before he agrees to come help him overcome the Israelites. (Balak/Balaam JPEG)
aa Num. 22.5,7 (NASB)
5 So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, "Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me.
Numbers 22:7 (NASB)
7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam and repeated Balak's words to him.
bb Balak sends his Chief of Staff, then Secretary of State to convince Balaam to come over and help them out against the armies of Israel. (Balaam’s House JPEG)
2 Balaam in rabbinic literature (Talmud) is not seen in a real positive light: (He’s described having only one eye, a lame foot, arrogant, and greedy.)
a Balaam isn’t your typical prophet (Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, etc.,)
aa He was a “soothsayer”, practice the occult, divination (22.7).
bb Diviners would speak into a hole in the ground and talk to spirits of the dead (demonic) (cf. 1 Sam. 28.8).
cc He was of the brand of prophet that shook arrows, talked to household idols, read the livers of dead goats (tea leaves.) (cf. Ezek. 21.21)
b He was a “big deal” to the nations that used diviners/soothsayers to petition the spirits/lords of the underworld.
aa He would speak to the gods/idols of the nation/people he was hired to curse, vex. (Baal, Yam, Asher)
bb He was the ancient equivalent of The Amazing Crisswell, Jeane Dixon, Ms. Cleo, or Long Island Medium (JPEGS of these people all on same screen.)
cc What Balaam was practicing was the opposite of true prophecy (Elijah, etc.), which is essentially submitting to God’s Sovereignty (Deut. 18.14 NASB) 14 "For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so.”
3 Because Balaam was going to curse the Hebrews, guess which God he petitioned? YHWY!
a Num. 22.20-21, “And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise up and go with them; but only the world which I speak to you shall you do.” So Balaam arose in the morning; and saddled his donkey, and went with the leaders of Moab.”
aa Balaam had turned them down the first time, and was about to the second time when God decided to use this soothsayer against the enemy.
bb God is about to bring Balaam to speak blessing over the people that Balak had hired him to curse.