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Balaam (Part 11) - (Num 23:11-20) - Balaam's Second Attempt to Curse Israel

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For a master copy of the outline, click here: The Story of Balaam

To Listen on YouTube, click here: Balaam (Part 11) - (Num 23:11-20) - Balaam's Second Attempt to Curse Israel

6. Balak is angry with Balaam for blessing his enemies instead of cursing them (Num 23:11).
A. Balaam had told Balak that he would only say what the LORD told him to say (Num 22:18).
B. Therefore, Balak is really angry with God for having Balaam bless his enemies.
C. Balak's foolishness has perverted his way and now he frets against the LORD (Pro 19:3).
i. Fools are afflicted because of their sins (Psa 107:17), but they often blame God instead.
ii. David was guilty of this when he got angry with God for killing Uzzah when he touched the ark of the covenant, when it was David's fault for not moving it the way God said to (2Sa 6:8 c/w 1Ch 15:13).
D. When sinners despise God's messengers, they are really despising God who sent them (Luk 10:16; 1Th 4:8; 1Sa 8:7; Exo 16:8).
7. Balaam replies that he has to say the words that God gave him (Num 23:12).
A. Balaam's answer is technically true (Pro 16:1).
B. But, in that Balaam really wants to curse Israel (which is why he went with Balak in the first place), his answer is more of a copout than anything.
C. He can blame his lack to performance on God, all the while wishing that he could have cursed Israel.

X. Num 23:13-26 - Balaam's second attempt to curse Israel
1. Balak devises another plan to get Balaam to curse Israel (Num 23:13).
A. Balak takes Balaam to a different place where he can see less of the people of Israel.
i. Utmost adj. - 1. a. Situated farthest from the centre; occupying, lying at, or dwelling in the extreme bound or bounds; most external or remote in position or location; outermost, uttermost; outmost
ii. Balak makes sure that Balaam will not see them all.
iii. Maybe Balaam just had stage fright the first time in front of all those people.
B. Balak likely figures that it will be easier for Balaam to curse Israel if he only sees a small portion of them.
i. It's easier for politicians to get the sheeple to go along with their nefarious plans to murder their enemies if they are kept shielded from seeing the "enemy."
ii. The armchair-warrior chicken-hawks will fall for any scheme to murder foreigners as long as they don't have to look them in the eye and pull the trigger themselves.
2. Balaam has Balak build seven altars and offer a bullock and a ram on every altar again while he goes to get a word from the LORD (Num 23:14-15).
A. Balaam is displaying the marks of insanity at this point, repeating the same experiment and expecting different results (Num 23:14 c/w Num 23:1-3).
B. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
C. It is not hyperbole to say that Balaam was insane, since the scripture calls him mad (2Pe 2:16).
D. Madness n. - 1. Mental disease, insanity; now applied esp. to insanity characterized by wild excitement or extravagant delusions; mania.
E. Repeating the same thing expecting different results is a sign of insanity, but doing so in disobedience to God is a sure mark of such.
3. The LORD meets Balaam and again gives him words to say and sends him back to Balak (Num 23:16-17).
4. Balaam tells Balak to stand up and hear the word of God (Num 23:18).
A. Balaam was in essence telling Balak what Samuel told Saul, to "stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God" (1Sa 9:27).
B. It is a sign of respect for the word of God to stand when it is being read (Neh 8:5-6).
5. Balaam begins his prophecy (Num 23:19-24).
A. Balaam begins by stating that God is not a man that He should lie or change His mind (Num 23:19).
i. God cannot lie and He will do what He said He would do (Tit 1:2; Heb 6:13-18).
ii. God cannot deny Himself (2Ti 2:13).
iii. When God says something, it's as good as done (Rom 4:17; Isa 46:10).
iv. God keeps His word and doesn't go back on it (1Sa 15:29; Eze 24:14; Eze 36:36; 1Th 5:24).
v. For God to repent (change His mind) and go back on a promise that He made to unconditionally do something for someone would be for Him to lie, and that He will not do.
a. On the other hand, it is not a lie for God to state that He would destroy Nineveh in 40 days, and then send a preacher to tell them to repent (Jon 3:1-4), and after they repent, He repents of the judgment that He had planned to do to them (Jon 3:10).
b. In the case of Nineveh and other similar situations in the Bible, God's declaration to destroy sinners was conditioned on their repentance, and when they repented, then He could repent of the evil (judgment) that He had said that He would do to them.
c. This type of repentance on God's part is not a lie, but was an option He left Himself.
vi. The irony is that Balaam is hoping or expecting God to repent and change His mind and tell Balaam to curse Israel, which is shown to be the case by the fact that Balaam goes to Him again at Balak's bidding.
B. Balaam then says that God has blessed Israel and he (Balaam) cannot reverse it (Num 23:20).
i. We cannot disannul God's word (Job 40:8; Isa 14:27).
ii. We are not God's counselor and therefore we don't tell Him what to do (Isa 40:13-14; Rom 11:33-34).
iii. If we can break God's covenant with the day and night, then we can make Him reverse His decrees (Jer 33:20-21).