-The Love of Money, Greed and Prestige-

Balaam was a pagan sorcerer well known for dealing in magic and animal divination. The King of Moab sent for him 400 miles/665 kilometres away, to come to Moab and bring curses on the Israelites as they had camped along the Jordan River and the Moabites feared that their land would be made desolate because of number of Israelite people, who were using the land.

The King was willing to pay Balaam with much wealth to lesson the power of the Israelites. Balaam was the spokesman for any demon-god who claimed divinity of any nation.

Balaam has been condemned in many Books of The Bible and is quoted about in ten scriptures referring to him regarding bearing the responsibility for sexual immorality, ethical and religious rites.

God Himself told Balaam not to go and the King's invitation was rejected. But was requested once again and decided to go for he was determined to benefit by the gain of wealth.

God speaking to Balaam was not denied by Moses, who used the term for God that a non-believer would use, therefore Moses distinguished himself from Balaam by his writings.

Balaam had not yet come to realize that God of Israel was not a demon-god of a heathen nation, and very much unlike what he was used to dealing with.

Balaam's real motives and intentions were known to The Lord God Almighty and God forbade him to curse Israel.

To convince Balaam that he must only speak what The True God Almighty says, an angel is sent to confront him.

The angelic being stood with a drawn sword, blocking the pathway and Balaam's donkey refused to continue on. His life at that point was saved by the donkey who avoided the armed angel.

The donkey saw the angel, but Balaam's spiritual eyes were closed to the true spiritual things of the Living God of creation, and could not see the angel who had blocked the pathway.

God will not be mocked and Balaam was made to look the fool because he was supposed to be an animal diviner. God pointed out the fact of the animal seeing His angel and Balaam being unaware of the heavenly spiritual being.

God had also made a mockery of all the gods that the Egyptians worshiped forty years prior, concerning the plagues brought upon Egypt.

The donkey wandered off the road but the angel continued to block her way, until she eventually laid down. Balaam became so angry that and he beat her repeatedly with his staff.

The Lord God opened the donkey's mouth and asked him what had she done to deserve such treatment. Balaam answered her and threatened to kill her. Again the donkey questioned the harsh treatment given her by him.

The Lord God then allowed Balaam to see the angel and the angel told him that his donkey had actually saved his life; this made Balaam very aware of the seriousness of the cursing of Israel mission ahead of him.

When he finally reached the King, the King discussed the fee and sacrificed animals to a pagan god and then gave the organs to Balaam to predict an outcome.

Balaam, because of his magic, sorcery and animal divination, would use the liver of the sacrificed animal to try and get God to change his mind, so he thought, and every time he tried the Lord God would stop him.

Balaam continued his acts of sorcery five times and instead of cursed oralces coming out of his mouth, only more and more blessings were spoken from his tongue for Israel.

Balaam failed to pronounce the curses on Israel for the King, so he planned another scheme which he thought would work. He lured the Israelites into fertility worship instead, all for the greed of wealth and prestige of being well-known. These rites included sexual immorality and sacrifices to pagan demon-gods.

Balaam's plan was to pollute Israel with foreign gods and sin so that The Lord God would be forced to curse His own people. But God only destroyed the guilty, keeping the purity of His people unto Himself.

Balaam did indeed recognize God as All-Powerful but he did not believe He was The One and Only Deity, and continued on in his magic divination.

He led a very corrupt lifestyle spiritually , he would do anything if it involved himself benefiting and profiting out of it. He pretended to live a life of prophesying by magic, his motives were all greed for self wealth. He was a man truly blinded by the love of money, greed and prestige.

Later on he returned to Moab, for his heart was in the monetary wealth of the country and was killed in the war when the Israelites attacked the Moabites.

Motives are just as important as actions for it is our legitimate sincere attitudes and just and genuine motives that help keep us pure before God, and as Christians we need to see the long range view of heavenly benefits and not short term earthly rewards.

Those who choose God over momentary issues will one day acquire eternal wealth beyond measure.

Jesus said, " Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart is." Matthew 6:19-21.

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Managed by Stefan Kreslin,Last updated 12 April 1997