Summary: This is a lesson on how Balaam prostitued the people of God for monetary gain and letting people of today aware of what might be happening to them because of a money hungry preacher.
“The Prostitution of God’s People”
The story of a money hungry preacher
Elder Melvin L. Maughmer, Jr.
Prostitution, which is often called the world’s oldest profession, is the act of indulging in promiscuous sexual relations for money or other special favors.
To be prostituted is to devote to corrupt for monetary gain. The prostitution of God’s people is the story of a preacher, who for the love of money, self exaltation, social acceptance, and worldly popularity, placed a stumbling block in front of God’s people.
Within this lesson we will endeavor to explore the blunders of this so-called preacher, the effect of listening to ill advice, the punishment for placing a stumbling block in front of the people of God, and finally explore how this doctrine is even practiced in our modern day and time.
BACKGROUND: The children of Israel had come up out of Egypt; they had conquered all their enemies utterly destroying them. God had provided from them abundantly and was continually blessing them in spite of their rebellious ways and bouts of disobedience. They had come to the top of Mt. Pisgah and Moses sent messengers to the king of the Amorites saying “Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink [of] the waters of the well: [but] we will go along by the king’s [high] way, until we be past thy borders.” Numbers 21:22. However, Sihon, the king of the Amorites refused to let them pass through his borders peacefully and gathered his people together and fought against the Children of Israel. The Children of Israel prevailed, took their land, (Numbers 21: 24-35) and settled in the plains of Moab.
Numbers 22:1 says “And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan [by] Jericho.” Balak, the king of Moab, the son of Zippor and all of Moab became distressed because of Israel and they saw what Israel had done to the Amorites Numbers 22:3 “And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they [were] many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.”
Balak, the king, feared that Israel would destroy the Moabites like they had the Amorites. Therefore he met with the board of elders of the Moabites Numbers 22:4 “And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all [that are] round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor [was] king of the Moabites at that time.” Balak along with this board of elders discussed a plan of action against the Israelites and set out to hire a spiritual hit-man by the name of Balaam. Numbers 22:5-6 “He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which [is] by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they [are] too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, [that] we may smite them, and [that] I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest [is] blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.”
THE PREACHER: Balaam, the son of Beor, was a prophet of God that lived in Pethor, which is on the banks of the Euphrates River. His reputation had been established as one that had the power to curse or bless Numbers 22:6. Balaam understood the divine blessings of God as well as the curse brought on through disobedience. Balaam lived and understood Matthew 16:19 & 18:18 “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Someone may ask what makes you say Balaam was a prophet of the Lord Numbers 22:8-9 God spoke to Balaam, if Balaam was not His he would not have heard him for God hears not a sinner)
The Inquirery: Numbers 22:5-7 “He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which [is] by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they [are] too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, [that] we may smite them, and [that] I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest [is] blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed. And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.”