Numbers 22:30, "And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day?" If you look it up in the Hebrew, you'll find that it says, "Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since thou wast?" Our flesh is portrayed by that donkey. We've been riding on it ever since we've been here in this world.
All that most people can remember in the life of Balaam is the fact that the ass rebuked him and spoke to him in a man's voice. Very few people remember the details that took place before that happened. We would like to start at the beginning and show you the background circumstances (Please turn in your Bible to Numbers 22, and read the entire chapter).
9 And God came unto Balaam and said, What men are these with thee?
10 And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, King of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying,
11 Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.
12 And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.
13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the Lord refuseth to give me leave to go with you.
14 And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come along with us.
15 And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.
16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me:
17 For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.
18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of my God, to do less or more.
19 Now therefore, I pray you tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more.
20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.
21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
22 And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
Balaam was a man of God. He served and spoke to the Lord, and God spoke to him. Balaam was right with God, or God would not have communed with him. (Ps. 66:18; I Pet. 3:12; Prov. 28:9; John 9:31; Ps. 34:15; Isa. 1:15; etc.).
In the beginning, Balaam stood firm and said, "get you into your land for the Lord refuses to give me leave to go with you." You'll notice that Balak, as is common with the world, knew how to work on Balaam, and how to strive to get down into his heart. There are some things that the flesh goes after, and other things that tempt in the direction of the heart.
Two things that tempt the heart or spirit, are covetousness and pride. Balaam (symbolizing the SPIRIT of a saved man) began to be tempted by PRIDE and by GREED when men of greater honor came to beg of him, and to offer him great RICHES. Balaam began to feel "high and mighty" in this thing, and felt himself to be pretty important.
Verse 18: "And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God."
However, he also said, "Hang around awhile". Balaam was thinking, "I can't go beyond the word of the Lord, but if I'm such an important person, maybe the Lord will change his mind. Maybe the Lord won't mind letting me go and do it." However, Balaam already knew God's will. God had already told him His will, and God doesn't change His mind. He works different ways in different dispensations, but He never changes His will.
Verse 20: "And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do."
Someone says, God DID change His mind. No friend, God didn't change His mind. When God sees somebody's heart is set on doing something, He just lets them go. God is not obligated to repeatedly tell anyone what He wants them to do after He initially informs
them. People will constantly tell the Lord to check His figures to make sure He is right. GOD IS NEVER WRONG. You can be sure that if He changes, you're the one that's going to suffer for the change. God doesn't really change; He is just allowing you to go the way you WANT TO GO.
II Thessalonians 2:10-12:
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they receive not the love of truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. God said I'LL send strong delusion. How does He do it? If He shows someone His will and helps them find the truth, AND THEY STILL PERSIST IN GOING THE WRONG WAY, the Lord lets them feel they are DOING THE RIGHT THING when they go the wrong way.
How did He send Balaam delusion? By saying, "Balaam, you go ahead", but He also said, "don't say anything except what I tell you to say". When God lets a man go down the wrong road, He still tries to prevent him from doing anything to harm the people of God.
If you study Balaam's conversation, you'll notice that even though Balaam spoke inspired words in behalf of Israel, he tried to impress Balak that he was on HIS side. The over-all stand that Balaam took was, "I'm on both sides". There are many people doing just the same today. They're just as false as Balaam.
They try to "ride the fence", rather than boldly taking a stand for what is right. Balaam is one of the main pictures in the Bible of false preachers. Balaam had been a true minister of God in the past, but now (on the surface) he's speaking the words of God, and then
turning to the enemy, and patting him on the back at the same time. That makes God sick.
We realize that the words that Balaam spoke were the TRUTH. However, by the fact he SPOKE them (i.e.: PREACHED) in the camp of the enemies of God's true people, Balaam's actions later caused God's people to let down the "barrier's", and to "mix and mingle" with the ENEMY to the extent that they COMMITTED WHOREDOM (i.e.: fornication) with the daughters of MOAB (Num. 25:1-9 with I Cor. 10:8; Rev. 2:14).
Friend, it works the same way today. If a true man of God goes down to a false church (SPIRITUAL BABYLON) where God has commanded His people to "come out of her" (Rev. 18:4; not "go visit her"), even though he preaches truth there, he is doing harm rather than good.
The word will spread that TRUTH is preached in that church (i.e.: the camp of MOAB) by a true man of God, and God's true people will begin to come there. This will commit SPIRITUAL FORNICATION. Remember friend, every true child of God is spiritually married to Jesus Christ (Eph.5:25-32; if we are not married to Jesus, we cannot bear spiritual children for him...i.e.: win the lost... Gal. 4:19.
False religion is the harlot "BABYLON" and her daughters which are described in Rev. 17 (i.e.: Catholicism and Protestantism). When a true Christian goes into the "camp" of false religion, they become a part of the (spiritual) fornication that is going on there (Rev. 18:3&4). False religion is spiritually the bride of SATAN. This type might become easier to understand if we realize who the Moabites were.
Genesis 19:37 shows us that the Moabite nation was produced through an incestuous relationship between an UNKNOWING LOT,and his own daughter. The Hebrew word for "Moab" means "conceived by the mother's father". Jesus was speaking to one type of false religion in John 8:44 when he said, "YOU ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL."
We MUST realize that the Bible gives much scriptural proof that SATAN is both the FATHER and HUSBAND of false religion. When a child of God is involved in false religion, they are actually a part of several illicit "RELATIONSHIPS" in a spiritual sense. As a BRIDE OF CHRIST, they are caused to commit spiritual adultery with Satan as the "HUSBAND" of the false religious system.
If they "fall in love" with the false church, they commit spiritual homosexuality or "LESBIANISM", as this form is called today. If the person in the false church is not saved, they are actually "OF THEIR FATHER THE DEVIL", and yet as a part of Satan's church, they are also married to the Devil, and guilty of (spiritual) INCEST.
Surely by this we can see the great danger of preaching the Truth in a church that does not STAND for the Truth. God's plan is to reach the honest hearts individually.
Someone might misunderstand the types, and feel that if a Christian "falling in love" (spiritually) with a false church causes them to commit spiritual "lesbianism", then the same would be true if they "fall in love" with a TRUE CHURCH. This is NOT SO. Since Jesus indwells every true child of God in the true church, Jesus sees our love for His TRUE CHURCH as LOVE FOR HIMSELF (i.e.: Mt. 25:40b, etc.).
Certainly we don't want the reader to misunderstand and think we are saying that God's people should not love the lost as individuals. Definitely God's word teaches us to have love for all mankind.
However, we are speaking of the love or relationship with the "church" or false religion as a collective group of people standing for principles, doctrines, and conduct, that is contrary to the word of God. People actually do "fall in love" with such "churches", because they help to ease their consciences while the live their own selfish lives in sin.
God's people today need to constantly guard against "Balaams", who take God's truth, and preach in the camp of the enemy. Many times these preachers are as guilty as Balaam, of seeking through PRIDE OF THE HEART, the prestige of being able to say that they preached at "SUCH AND SUCH" A PLACE".
God is against anything that may cause his people to drawn into the camp of Moab [false religion], and cause them to commit spiritual fornication [ the word in the bible means any form of sexual sin or its spiritual equivalent.]
Verse 22 says that God got angry because Balaam went. Someone says, " but God told him he could go". God only ALLOWED him to do what was in his heart. God didn't want him to go, and he wasn't saying its my will that you go. He was simply saying,"go ahead, if that's what is in your heart.
Numbers 22:2 says Balaam was riding upon an ass, and his two servants were with him. You really don't hear much about Balamm's servants, but its important for us to know their significance. This word "servant" comes from the Hebrew word which refers to a child, or one that is born [i.e.: physically or spiritually] of the one whom they are serving.
It portrays a child of an age to serve, and conveys the thought of responsibility, as well as childhood.