Balaam is referred to quite a few times in other scriptures. II Peter 2:14,15 and Jude 11 mention him – and how we are not to follow his example. He is the epitome of compromise because of money and prestige.
Balak, the Moabite king, is terrified of the Israelites. (He calls them the people who came out of Egypt and are all over the land). So he approaches Balaam to put a curse on God’s people. This diviner says that he will say what God says, and God says they are blessed, and not to curse them. That should have been the end of it.
But no. Balak ups the ante. He sends more prestigious emissaries to Balaam and offers a greater reward, so Balaam goes to God again. Are you sure, God? (In other words, “I really want this money and honor”).
They repeatedly try to get a curse from God, but when Balaam finally speaks, only blessings come forth. Three blessings and a prophecy about Jesus. They can’t win this battle with God.
Now the Israelites have more blessings pronounced over them!
The Word says that the callings of God are without repentance. Now Jesus is the only way to the Kingdom of God, and even Jews need Him, but God still honors a land covenant with the Jews. And there are still many facets of the endtime plan which involve these original children of Abraham.
Even today, God blesses those who honor Israel. If our nation, or any other, doesn’t honor these people, they are making a big mistake.
Isn’t it comforting to know just how faithful our Father is to His covenant people? His Word stands forever. His promises will not fail. That applies to the Jews and that applies to us as Christians.
Once again we see Jesus trying to change our focus. Men are so geared toward the carnal, the outward appearance, and the temporal. What we see is all important.
Jesus sees things differently and He wants us to as well. ‘It’s not what goes into a man which defiles him, but what comes out of him.’ (v.18,19) Jesus is referring to the heart of man. The really important part. The inner man, which no one can see with his natural eyes, but which is the true person.
The person which contacts God – or not. The person which can believe the Word and change His world to be more like Heaven. Or the person who mocks God and causes darkness to hover around.
That is the focus we must have if we are to walk as He desires. We all get blinded by what we see sometimes, but if we want to live significant lives for Him, we must refocus, and look to the inner man.
Read the Word. Meditate. Listen. Pray. That’s how we see as He sees. That’s how we hear as He hears.