Bible Insights

Digging into Balaam’s Story

Serving God or Being Self-Serving?

In reading about Balaam’s story in the post “The Error of Balaam, it’s difficult to see what he may have done wrong. Indeed, based on this record alone, he seems like an upstanding guy.

Therefore, we need to dig into his story to what he did wrong.

There are several other references to Balaam in the Bible (Numbers 31:16, Deuteronomy 23:4-5, 2 Peter 2:15, and Revelation 2:14). These all portray him in a negative light.

Consider Balaam’s story in Numbers 22-24:

  • He practiced divination (and was ultimately killed for doing so).
  • He taught and advised Israel’s enemies on how to distract them from God and sin against him.
  • He was willing to do the wrong thing, as long as there was reward.
  • He tried to curse Israel, which God turned it into a blessing.
    (This would explain why the king gave him three chances to issue a curse and why the king blamed God for Balaam not receiving his promised reward).

This certainly provides a different view of Balaam’s story.

Apparently he wasn’t such a good guy after all.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Joshua 13-15 and today’s post is on Joshua 13:22.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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