Many have wondered why God would allow the oracles of a pagan soothsayer to be included in His Word. Balaam's prophecies are significant to God's purpose.
Balaam, motivated by self-interest, believing that the ends justify the means, willing to do anything to get his way, is spiritually inferior to a donkey.
Balaam illustrates the paradox of someone who knows God's will, but willfully and deliberately disobeys, presumptuously thinking he could manipulate or bribe God.
If we, like Israel of old, choose to sin, we will receive the same consequence. Two thirds of the book of Numbers emphasizes that if we sin, we die.
Pride, the father of all sins, is the source of self-exaltation, self-justification and the despising of authority. It cloaks rebellion in a deceptive appeal.
Balaam, a Mesopotamian soothsayer, has four oracles in God's Word. Despite coming from an enemy of God's people, these oracles are true and worth our study.
We live daily in uncharted territory, but the sobering account in Numbers provides a roadmap, establishing God's pattern of judging our pilgrimage conduct.
Like the Old Testament examples, the Corinthians had a careless presumption, allowing themselves to lust, fornicate, tempt God, and murmur.